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Death Of A Salesman Why The Play Ends In Death

569 words - 2 pages

Arthur Miller uses Willy and the characters around him to tell the story of a tragic hero, whose only flaw is his inability to question the validity of the American Dream. Willy is a common man whose conflicted, lonely and seemingly false character has been created with only one end, death. It is only through the story of his life, his denial, his struggle in attempting to gain his ‘rightful’ position in society, and finally his death that gives Willy his title of a ‘tragic hero’.
Willy’s character has many flaws which bring about his tragic ending, most of which have resulted from society. Society has created the environment that Willy has lived in and been nurtured by, his values and morals reflect those of this materialistic society, and his judgement of right or wrong has come from this environment also. Willy’s character has emerged from this society with false ideas of success, loneliness and a false dream, which Willy embodies and worships until the very end.
However, society alone cannot be held responsible for Willy’s death, nor his role as a tragic hero. Willy’s character is not pure and faultless, his treatment of his wife and his sons, along with his infidelity and his lies are evidence of his personal flaws. As a common man, Willy’s character is bound to make mistakes, the writer uses these mistakes to enforce the readers own opinion of Willy in their minds. At times the audience may dislike Willy’s character, due to his actions, his beliefs, or otherwise, but in the end there is an overpowering feeling of sorrow and pity. Willy’s death not only affects the fictional characters that have surrounded him in the play, such as his wife and...

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