The death of a Salesman: Is it tragic or not

The story of the Death of A Salesman (1949) by Arthur Miller is a very interesting playwrite.

It’s not because it is a tragic story but because it shows the other side of people’s dream.  The issues that are being raised in the story has something to do with the dreams that are being made not only by our parents but, it also talks about the dreams of the children. The debate whether this play is a tragedy or not, ends up in being both.

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Willy and Biff’s story is tragical in the sense that a person needs to die and that dreams are needed to be shattered before one can realize what is his reality. It is not tragic in a way that it actually taught us that we should follow our hearts and know what our strengths and weaknesses are.The story started while Willy was driving his car and he tend to lose control because of his illusions and decided to go back home. He and his son had a debate on his son’s future. As what he knows, Biff was offered numerous scholarships but then, because he was not able to pass in his math subject, he tried to look for his father to convice his teacher.

Unfortunately, he saw his father in a hotel with another woman committing adultery. This incident caused Biff to lose his fondness for his father and hate him. He eventually tried doing and working handy things which he loves to do but Willy wants him to be salesmn like Dave Singleman, who was Willy’s idol.Your Name     2After long years of being away from home, Biff came back, still unsuccessful with his life and it hurts Willy.

Biff insisted that he doesn’t want to be a salesman and even mentioned that he wants to work using his hands. This confrontation started the ending of the story because on that night, Willy turned to his garden and planting some seeds and like the usual thing he does, he talks to the illusion of his brother, who is actually dead for some years already. Biff talked to his father again but, in the end, Willy can’t see the truth and so, Biff decided to bid his goodbye to his father and left. Willy who was affected by the confrontation turns into suicide. He carshed his car while he was driving it and that ends his life.

With around 20 thousand dollars in his insurance, it could probably be enough for Biff to be magnificent.BIFF: No! Nobody’s hanging himself, Willy! I ran down eleven flights with a pen in my            hand today. And suddenly I stopped, you hear me? And in the middle of that office building,   do you hear this? I stopped in the middle of that building and I saw —the sky. I saw the         things that I love in this world. The work and the food and time to sit and smoke. And I            looked at the pen and said to myself, what the hell am I grabbing this for? Why am I trying       to become what I don’t want to be? What am I doing in an office, making a contemptuous,        begging fool of myself, when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know      who I am! Why can’t I say that, Willy? (98)Biff, in the end, finally admitted to his father what he really wants in his life.

Although his father might not understand, he continue saying that he can’t live with “American Dream” and would be better outside that dream. On that day, he freed himself from the expextations of Willy and finds the stupidity in stealing a pen. He realized that he is contented to enjoy the simple necessities of his life.Your Name     3The playwrite entitled became an eye opener to those people who are not ready to face reality and are afraid to take chances in their life. Billy who was minding how he can actually find himself shows that a second chance is much more available to everyone in the world. It is not tragic at all but at some point, Willy’s death and the shattered dreams can cause gloominess and grief but, looking at the brighter side, the story talked much about our life. It taught us about taking chances, being realistic and being true to ourselves.

It is not bad that Willy decided to follow his dreams, but instead, it could have been better if he tried doing the things that he is really good with.WILLY: What’s the mystery? The man knew what he wanted and went out and got it!     Walked into a jungle, and comes out, the age of twenty-one, and he’s rich! The world is an        oyster, but you don’t crack it open on a mattress!(28)At this part, Willy was talking to Charley and mentioned these lines. Upon analyzing the texts, in somehow applies to Willy as he said the words: “The man knew what he wanted and went out and got it!”. Thus, these words are what he believes in while he fails to realize that he himself knows what he wanted but end up as no one. He didn’t had his dreams come true as much as he strive to have those achievements. He forgot that in reality, not all you want comes for free and that it sometimes takes a little piece of courage and acceptance before being successful.In the end, the story shows Willy’s ignorance by believing that success is about physical appearance and popularity and by showing Willy’s pride wherein he denied the job being offered by his neighbor Charley but accepts money saying that it is a loan.

The issue between reality and illusions are the ones that leads to the denial that happened to Willy.Your Name     4No- body dast blame this man. You don’t understand: Willy was a salesman.

And for a    salesman, there is no rock bottom to the life. He don’t put a bolt to a nut, he don’t tell you the         law or give you medicine. He’s man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a       Shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back — that’s an earthquake. And then you get       yourself a couple of spots on your hat, and you’re finished. Nobody dast blame this man.

A      salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.(103)Charley mentioned this as part of his speech for Willy. in this lines, he describe the kind of life that Willy had by being a salesman. He stated that Willy as a dreamer is based of his identity as a salesman.

He dreams because it is needed. What Willy failed to do is to realize that he had a choice when he lost that smile and the shoeshine.Willy as a person is full of illusion. He was not ready to accept reality and not aware that while he is living his illusion, someone else’s dream is being crushed just because he is not ready to hear the truth.             Willy died together with his dreams.

There are only few who went to his funeral. He was forgotten.The story of the Death of a Salesman is not really the death of Willy but rather, it is the death of his dreams for Billy on becoming a successful salesman or businessman. It is the death of his dreams and the death of reality because for a very long time, Willy denied seeing what are real things and what are his illusions.Works CitedMiller, Arthur.

Dead of a Salesman. 1949

Author: Bobby Burns


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