The self identity of willy loman in arthur millers death of a salesman

The play is a montage of memories, dreams, confrontations, and arguments, all of which make up the last 24 hours of Willy Loman's life. The play concludes with Willy's suicide and subsequent funeral. Miller uses the Loman family — Willy, Linda, Biff, and Happy — to construct a self-perpetuating cycle of denial, contradiction, and order versus disorder. Willy had an affair over 15 years earlier than the real time within the play, and Miller focuses on the affair and its aftermath to reveal how individuals can be defined by a single event and their subsequent attempts to disguise or eradicate the event.

The self identity of willy loman in arthur millers death of a salesman

Death of a Salesman: Death of a Salesman Play Summary & Study Guide | CliffsNotes

May 03, Abstract This paper explores the manifestations of nihilism and self-delusion in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. The paper argues that the feelings of hopelessness and despair experienced by the lead character Willy Loman are as a result of the piling pressures of modernity and the emasculating effects of American capitalism engendered by the two World wars.

The self identity of willy loman in arthur millers death of a salesman

A direct consequence of these nihilistic feelings in the play manifest in the inability of the Loman family to face the harsh realities of everyday affairs, thereby rendering their lives meaningless. The paper concludes that the suicide of Loman at the end of the play is inevitable because it is the natural outcome of existential nihilism, especially the kind induced by industrial capitalism.

In this respect, death, as seen at the end of the play, becomes a natural relief to existential suffering.

His mother was age 22 and his father 30 when Miller was born. This is manifests in the play Death of a Salesman henceforth D. S with his presentation of Happy and Biff as brothers. In his autobiography, Time bends: Willy Loman is not of noble birth, neither is he a man of fortune, which is the yardstick for assessing the success or otherwise of people in capitalist system.

Nietzsche alongside other philosophers like Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus to mention a few, popularize the concept in the twentieth century. In other words of Rosen [ 4 ], nihilism is therefore characterized by boredom and hopelessness often resulting in despair.

Life in this circumstance becomes baseless and rootless without any solid anchor. Rosen [ 4 ] further observes that this mood of boredom or hopelessness is the most negative manifestation of nihilism.

Consequently, there will be neither spiritual nor any material support to latch on to by these people in their period of anguish and despair.

It is compelling to note that the causes of these nihilistic feelings are varied and diverse. However, the most important ones in the twentieth century are the two World wars.

There is no doubt that the two World wars in general, and the Second World War in general in particular have impinged on the lives of people in general and that of writers in particular. The war and its attendant consequences of human loss, carnage, senseless violenceand displacement have helped in creating a feeling of alienation and despair among the post-war generations of writers in both Europe and America.

As a result of this, their vision and image of man as the paragon of progress and civilization was shaken. The war also left a deep scar on their conscience and at the same time pushed them to question and re-evaluate the much touted humanity of man.

Consequently, these writers, through their imagination, seized the initiative to educate people the populace about the existential uncertainties plaguing man in this period of despair and hopelessness.

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As a natural corollary the characters that peopled their works become the embodiments of these vexatious sentiments. Certainly, one of the post-war plays that mirror these feelings is Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman [ 5 ].

A Modern Philosophy Existentialism on the other hand is a philosophical movement whose origin could be traced to the nineteenth century Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard.

It is a very complex philosophy that harbors contradictory and competing ideas.


There are two major strands of Existentialism current in the nineteenth century: Christian Existentialism and the Sartrean Existentialism. This paper is however concerned with the Sartrean Existentialism.Willy Loman, in Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman, is the typical hard-working American chasing a dream.

He was a man who was “way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine” () Yet he was a man who ‘didn’t know who he was'().

This first profile in unmanliness takes a look at traveling salesman, Willy Loman from Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman. Death of a Salesman explores the world of post-war America and the effect that America’s new found prosperity had on men.

Self-Identity Of Willy Loman Willy Loman, in Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman, is the typical hard-working American chasing a dream.

He was a man who was "way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine" () Yet he was a man who 'didn't know who he was'(). that will address the notion of identity in Arthur Miler’s Death of a Salesman.

How far can one go, starting from a number of symptoms, in order to reconstruct from a .

From the SparkNotes Blog

The Tragic Hero Identity Crisis in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Kuzhivelil George Thomas Assistant Professor Department of English Deva Matha College Kuravilangad The American Dream is the largely unacknowledged screen in front of which all American writing plays itself out.

Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is the story of a man much like Miller's father, a salesman, "whose misguided notions of success result in disillusionment" (Draper ). The suppression of the main character, Willy Loman's, true nature is a result of his pursuit of a completely misguided dream.

SparkNotes: Death of a Salesman: Willy Loman