Willys Death Essay, Research Paper
Death of a Salesman Willy Lomans tragedy is due more to his own flawed character than to societies flaws. Advancements in science throughout this century have led to tremendous advancements in industry. Advancements in industry, however, have not always led to advancements in living. For some, society has created mass wealth. For most mass society has created a standard of living unparalled throughout histort. For Willy Loman, however, mass society has created only tremendous greif and hardship, agravated by the endless promise. For these reasons, his tragidy is due more to societies flaws than to the flaws in his own character. Willy Loman was host to many flaws and deficiencies ranging formsuicidal tendencies to phychotic disorders. However, these shortcomingsdid not account for his tragic end, not by themselves anyway. Soviety isto blame. It was society who stripped him of his dignity, piece by piece. It was society who stripped him of his lifestyle, and his own sons whostripped him of hope. The most obvious flaw in society is greed, the desire to get ahead ofthe next guy. This malady is present on a national level. It is thephilosophy of business and comprises the dreams of man. Sometimes, thiscan drive man to great things, sometimes it can drive a man to ruin. Willy
was driven to the latter. (Not his own greed for he was a simple man withsimple dreams, but by the greed of others.) The developers who took awaythe sun and gave birth to shadows, his boss who reduced him to commissionand his sons which reduced him to a failure. The next largest flaw in society is a lack of compassion. This couldbe as a result of almost overwhelming greed, the main culprit being bigbusiness. “I’m always in a race with the junkyard! I just finished paying forthe car and it’s on it last legs. The refrigerator consumes belts like agoddam maniac. They time those things.”(Act 2, page 73, lines 16-19) Willy’s belief in this statement drew him to believe that big businesslacked compassion. It is because of this that he is abandoned by Biff anddisowned by Happy, left babbling in a toilet. It is this flaw whichallowed him to die a slow death and played the greatest role in hiseventual downfall. It was the direct result of the flaws in society which led Willy tohis undoing. It was the greed that was ever-pervasive around him that ledto his unhappieness. It was the lack of compassion from society whichallowed his unhappieness to flourish and which eventually consumed him. In the end, it was the lack of a social safety net which failed to save him from himself.