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The Death of a Salesman: The Reality Evasion Drug

Uploaded by joe_murphy22 on Oct 23, 1999

Never does one go through their life without having to deal with some sort of personal conflict. The manner in which people deal with these conflicts vary as much as the prints on a person's finger. Some try and solve the problem and get rid of it, while others will try and put it aside for as long as possible. Willy Loman's method in Arthur Miller's play, The Death of a Salesman, is very dangerous and builds to harsh results. Willy never tries to help the circumstances, he only flees to his great memories of the better days, when his life's predicaments were very limited. He uses this evasion tool as though it were an addictive narcotic, and as the story unfolds, the audience soon discovers the lethality of the drug.

Willy's first flash to the past was when his son, Biff, returns home from the west. Willy discusses his disappointment in Biff with his dear wife Linda. When Willy fails to cope with this misfortune successfully, he returns in his head to a time when everything was going well and life was more fortunate to him. It is perfectly normal for one to remember more fortunate days at the more dispirited times of life, as long as they can return to the present and deal with the reality of the situation. However, Willy never does return to the original problem, he just continues on with life, fleeing from the troubles that cross his path. His refusal to acknowledge reality becomes so significant, that he honestly believes the past, and he lives his entire life through a false identity never looking at the truth of his life.

Willy becomes more and more dependent on his drug as the story progresses. His next allusion to the past was during a conversation with his wife. Willy is downhearted about his failure to provide for his family, his looks, and basically his whole life in general. He begins to see some of the truth in his life: "I know it when they walk in. They seem to laugh at me."(Miller; The Death of a Salesman; pg. 23) By trying to see the reality in life, for once, he depresses himself so awfully, that he has a rendezvous in his head with his women that he sees on the side. He only uses this women to lift his spirits and to evade the truths that nearly...

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Uploaded by:   joe_murphy22

Date:   10/23/1999

Category:   Death of a Salesman

Length:   4 pages (987 words)

Views:   2208

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