Final EssaY ENGLISH II.docx

Willy played by the rules and performed his job as a

Info icon This preview shows pages 2–4. Sign up to view the full content.

post-World War II era who pursues the American Dream by buying a home and providing for his family. Willy played by the rules and performed his job as a breadwinner with admirable consistency and stability (Carson, 1982).
Image of page 2

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

W illy Loman and The Tragedy of Materialism 3 Yet underneath the veneer of middle-class success, Willy and his family are deeply unhappy. Willy is tired of traveling and wants greater freedom to enjoy the fruit of his labor. But as he moves toward a new phase in his career, he feels saddened by how life has turned out. He is especially disillusioned that life did not turn out better for his sons—mainly Biff, for whom he had such high hopes. In high school, Biff was a star athlete, and he seemed destined for great things; instead, he turned out aimless and lost, moving from job to job as a farm laborer. His other son, Happy, who always tried hard to win his father’s approval, had achieved moderate success as a clerk, but deep down felt unhappy and angry about his life and his relationship with his father. Meanwhile, Linda tries to reassure Willy that everything is okay, and that soon they would enjoy the good life together. As the story unfolds, we see that Willy is a man filled with sadness and disappointment. According to one literary critic, Willy feels deeply guilty about how his life has turned out. There are indications of the mistakes that Willy has made. We learn of an illicit affair that he had with an unknown woman. We discover that he has treated many people in his life shabbily, including his younger son, Happy, and his friend and neighbor, Charley. As the reality of his financial situation becomes clearer—he cannot quit his job (and he ends up getting fired) and Biff does not have the business connections to secure a loan—he becomes despondent and loses touch with reality. Willy suffers hallucinations and flashbacks to earlier episodes in his life—apparently, representing happier times when he still had hope that things would turn out well. He fondly hallucinates that his dutiful sons are washing his car, or that
Image of page 3
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern