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essay#3 enl3 - Fong 1 Timothy Fong Enl 3 OBrien 10, June...

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Fong 1 Timothy Fong Enl 3 O’Brien 10, June 2009 According to Aristotle’s criteria of a tragic hero, a hero must be fit to be awarded the honor of being the hero. Hence, the qualities of the tragic hero is “that of a man who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty. He must be one who is highly renowned and prosperous” (Aristotle). Willy Loman from Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller does not outright fulfill these qualities yet he still is the tragic hero of this play. In a trivial statement made by Willy and his wife, Linda, Willy states “I don’t want a change! I want Swiss cheese. Why am I Always being contradicted?” (1559). In a seemingless harmless statement, Willy proposes a question “Why am I always being contradicted?” (1599). It’s not a matter of why Will Loman is being contradicted, but rather who is actually contradicting Willy. Throughout the play, it seems as if the actual target of contradiction and the one who contradicts is the same which proposes the idea that because of this contradiction of himself, Willy Loman fulfills the characteristics of a tragic hero. Through Willy’s constant blending of his past with the present, Willy evokes a sense of ignorance that contradicts reality and blends facts with fiction. Willy smothers the pain and disappointment of the present by constantly engulfing himself in hallucinations of the past. When Willy hears news that Biff came home, he transports himself into a dream world that bring up feelings of accomplishment and hope of a future that cover up the idea that his son has stopped trying. He uses his past memory to ignore the shortcomings of his life and therefore
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Fong 2 fabricates a false image of himself. In this false image, he views himself as loved and adorned by many. He even tells his son to “Go to Filene’s, go to the Hub, go to the Slattery’s Boston. Call out the name Willy Loman and see what happens! Big shot” (1582), all of which he has convinced himself would respond to his name, but in actuality they would not. It is with this extended ignorance that Willy erects himself to the stature of a man that is famed and renowned. Furthermore, Willy believes himself to be prosperous similarly to how he believes himself to be famous. When Willy comes home from his endevours, he brags to his wife that he sells “five hundred gross in Providence and seven hundred gross in Boston” (1568) but he later on goes to
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essay#3 enl3 - Fong 1 Timothy Fong Enl 3 OBrien 10, June...

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