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Willy Loman: Victimizer And Victim Arthur Miller's "Death Of A Salesman"

2990 words - 12 pages

Unit 1 Key QuestionThroughout Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman tended to victimize virtually everyone he came in contact with. He hurt others perpetually throughout this play for a variety of different reasons. One of his key targets was his wife Linda. From verbal to finical, Willy Loman abused his wife Linda. His son Biff was also a prime target of his abuse. His abuse towards his son was subtle at times, and not so subtle others. Biff wasn't the only son to encounter abuse his brother Happy was also a target. Happy was abused not by any action, but by lack of. To further expand on the aforementioned, Happy was ignored by his father causing much detriment. A common occurrence among abusers is that their victimization seems be focused internally (family) or externally (everyone else) but rarely both. Willy Loman was an anomaly as far the previously philosophy was concerned; Willy victimized everyone he came in contact with. From his finically supportive friend, Charley, to the last person you'd expect, a child. Though, that isn't to say that Willy was in turn unharmed; he was also a victim. Those who are victimized often feel that they are justified in their diatribe against all others, no matter how untrue. His boss Howard would victimize Willy Loman, stating his lack of importance to business. Which could be perceived as a severe act against one's ego, but this wasn't the most prevalent culprit of harassment. The quintessential worst enemy of Willy was his mental illness; but more specifically his frequent delusional tangents. Throughout Arthur Miller's Masterpiece, Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman was both a victim and a victimizer as I'll soon make evident in the text below.The most evident victim of Willy Loman was his dearest wife Linda. There were many angles in which she was abused but none more apparent than verbally. Willy Loman didn't abuse his wife in the conventional use of the word; he didn't go on verbal tirade, it was much more passive. For example a scrip analysis from Death of a Salesman featuring an emotional moment between Willy Biff and Linda; from pages one hundred and twenty-seven to one hundred and thirty, Willy had twenty-eight lines, Biff had twenty-five lines and Linda a mere four. This clearly demonstrates that whenever Linda was part of the conversation that wasn't one-on-one she was severely neglected. When Willy and Linda would talk one-on-one she couldn't say a thing without being contradicted or having her opinion belittled; "LINDA: Willy, dear. Talk to them again. There's no reason why you can't work in New York. WILLY: They don't need me in New York. I'm the New England man. I'm vital in New England." (Death of a Salesman, page 14) This shows utter denigration just for the sake of flexing his superiority, and ironically enough, he later attempts exactly what his wife suggests. What this shows is that Linda was absolutely right and Willy chose to victimize her over admitting that his wife was...

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