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Death of a Salesman: The Tragic Anti-hero of Willy Loman

Uploaded by CreedPointGirl on Feb 07, 2001

A Success at Failure: The Tragic Anti-hero of Willy Loman


“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what type of car I drove, or what kind of house I lived in, or the amount of money I made, yet the world might be changed because I made a positive difference in the life of a child.” This increasingly popular statement raises a question for those who might hear it: how does one impact a child’s life for the better? A most obvious response would be to simply be a good parent. Yet, with single mothers raising a family alone, good fathers are scarce. What exactly, then, makes a good father? A good father is one who will encourage and motivate his child, yet not force the child to do something that the child strongly does not want to do. He will discipline his son or daughter in love, but never solely out of anger. He will set an example for his child, being willing to admit his faults and striving to always do what is right. And he will show consistent, unconditional love for his child, never basing his adoration on his son or daughter’s achievements, mistakes, or ambitions. A good father will strive to always do what is best for his family. He will put his desires last, ensuring that his family is well cared for and not lacking for any necessities. And, most importantly, a good father will make his family his number one priority, coming before his work, his friends, or even himself. In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is a textbook example of a failure as a good father in every way mentioned previously. Not only is Willy Loman not a good father and husband, but he furthers his failure by being a classic anti-hero and by failing to achieve the American Dream.

Willy is not a good father for many reasons. First and foremost, he has made his occupation his number one priority. For years, he has traveled for his business so frequently that he has never had the opportunity to truly get to know his own sons. As a result, he cannot love them as a father should; his love for Biff has been based on his achievements as an athlete, and, when Biff loses his scholarship, Willy is so devastated that he no longer loves Biff as he once did....

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Uploaded by:   CreedPointGirl

Date:   02/07/2001

Category:   Death of a Salesman

Length:   4 pages (972 words)

Views:   2794

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