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Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman (Cited)

1552 words - 6 pages

Willy and Nora: Tragic Heroes or Home-wreckers? No one has a perfect life. Despite what Aaron Spelling and his friends in the media might project to society today, no one's life is perfect. Everyone has conflicts that they must face sooner or later. The ways in which people deal with these conflicts can be just as varied as the people themselves. Some procrastinate and ignore their problems as long as they can, while others attack problems to get them out of the way as soon as possible. The Lowman and Helmer families have a number of problems that they deal with in different ways, which proves their similarities and differences. Both Willy Loman, the protagonist of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and Nora Helmer, protagonist of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House experience an epiphany where they realize that they were not the person the thought they were: while Willy's catharsis brings about his death, Nora's brings her to a new life; hers. Both character's flaws bring about their departure from their respective families as well. They are both overly concerned with the appearances they and their families present to society: as a result they both project false images to others. From their appearance, both seem to be involved in stable marriages and appear to be going places. Willy's job as a traveling salesman seems stable (although we never know what it is he sells) when he tells his family that he "knocked 'em cold in Providence, slaughtered 'em in Boston" (Miller 1228). It is not until Willy's wife, Linda tells us that he "drives 700 miles and when he gets there, no one knows him any more, no one welcomes him" (Miller 1241). If that's not enough to convince readers of his failure on the job, the fact that he gets fired after working for the same company for 36 years cements his incompetency in the business world to readers. While Nora does not work in the business world, (few woman, if any did over 120 years ago) her failure to take care of her responsibilities becomes quite evident as well. When the play opens and Nora enters with a Christmas tree and presents for the children, she gives off the impression of a good mother trying hard to prepare a great Christmas for her family. Upon further analysis we see that Nora's duties, in general, are restricted to caring for the children, doing housework, and working on her needlepoint. Nora cannot complete these duties even with the full-time help of Anne Marie, a housekeeper who cleans up after Nora just as much as the children. When Nora and Kristine are having a discussion towards the start of the play, Nora informs her friend that, "I'm so happy and relieved [with my marriage]. I must say its lovely to have plenty of money and not have to worry. Isn't it?" (Ibsen 1119). The rosy picture she painted of her family and marriage are in stark contrast to the "stranger of a man" (Ibsen 1168) she refers to her husband as. We realize that she had not been living her life at all; rather the life that her...

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Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman 1345 Words

1345 words - 6 pages . . Works Cited Death of A Salesman. Dir. Dir Volker Schlondorff. Perf. Dustin Hoffman. 1985. film. Miller, Arthur. Death of A Salesman. New York: Penguin Book, 1949. Print. Shmoop Editorial Team. "Death of a Salesman Theme Quotes." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 9 May 2014.