Books and Movies Reviews

Death of a Salesman

“If the exaltation of tragic action were truly a property of the high-bred character alone, it is inconceivable that the mass of mankind should cherish tragedy above all other forms” (Dwyer). It makes little sense that tragedy should only pertain to those in high ranks. As explained in his essay “Tragedy and the Common Man,” Arthur Miller sets out the pattern for his own idea of a tragedy and the tragic hero. This pattern supports the idea that a tragedy can occur in characters of common men as well as those in high places. In his paper, he demonstrates that it should be possible for everyone to be able to identify with the tragic hero. Miller redefines tragedy as more common occurrence than what might happen in such tragedies as portrayed by Shakespeare and Euripides, thus defining Death of a Salesman as a tragedy.
Willy Loman is a tragic hero. His fear is that he wants to be viewed as a good, decent human being. He wants to believe that he’s a well liked, decent person who doesn’t make mistakes. The truth is that he makes mistakes, many that haunt him, and that he is human. Willy does not consider this normal and severely regrets such failures such as raising his children poorly, as he sees it, not doing well in business, though he wishes he was, and cheating on Linda, showing her to be a commodity of which he takes advantage. “The quality in such plays that does shake us… derives from the underlying fear of being displaced, the disaster inherent in being torn away from our chosen image of what and who we are in the world” (Miller, “Tragedy…”). Willy’s “underlying fear of being displaced” is the real tragedy. He wants to do things right, but the fact is he has many incidences that haunt him. Consistently throughout the play, Willy drifts in and out of a dream. He is constantly haunted by memories of his dead brother Ben who struck it rich the jungle. He also has flashbacks of incidents that haunt him in other areas. For examp


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