Final EssaY ENGLISH II.docx

He fondly hallucinates that his dutiful sons are

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that things would turn out well. He fondly hallucinates that his dutiful sons are washing his car, or that he is having a conversation with Uncle Ben, his older brother who he virtually idolized for his tremendous success in business (although their relationship had not been close). As Willy appears to unravel, the family grows increasingly concerned. They see him talking to himself and losing touch with reality; Linda is frightened that Willy will commit suicide in order to provide the family with life insurance money. Happy and Biff debate whether they should tell Willy the truth about their lack of success in
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W illy Loman and The Tragedy of Materialism 4 business, or whether they should continue to lie in order prop up his ego and make him feel better; Biff wants to be honest, but Happy thinks it is better to continue deluding his father (Tetu, no date). The tragedy of Willy’s life, according to my reading, is that he has pursued a materialistic vision of success—obviously sold to him by the larger society—that turned out to be as empty and superficial as the products he sold in his job. As a salesman, Willy believed in the importance of personal connections above all else. The quality of a product was less important than the personal connections that a salesman might use to make sales. It was essentially a superficial view of life: what matters is appearance and social connections; what lies beneath (i.e., the quality of the product) matters far less. Willy took this approach to his entire life and career. He worked long hours to provide for his family, but in the process, he neglected his family emotionally. Just like he had never known his father, he failed to spend time getting to know his own children. He had apparently convinced himself that being an absentee or emotionally distant father was acceptable since he was bringing home a paycheck and providing a house for his family. But his family suffered immensely as a result. Linda was a “good
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