and ThemeIn looking at the characteristics of the tragic hero, it can be see that Willy Loman is not a tragic hero but a victim of a false idealistic pursuit of the American Dream. Willy strives to become and instill in his sons the success of the self made man that American society often advertises but ultimately falls short, and instead, escapes accepting his failure through lies and death. What many flaws Willy possesses, most do not correlate with the classic tragic hero.
Willy Loman, was never really of noble stature, as was summed up by Linda, the person who knew him best. Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. Hes not the finest character that ever lived. Willys harmartia was his obsession with the false American Dream that caused him to become delusional and totally blind of his actual situation. If this is so, then he cannot he commit a true and calculated error of judgment and then his downfall is due to an overriding irrepressible mental condition which cancels his own fault in his downfall. His delusional state of mind blurs reality and causes him to never accept or understand who he is or his downfall erasing any notion that he experienced an epiphany of any sort. In fact, it can be said that he dragged one of his sons with him. In front of Willys grave Happy vows to continue Willys dream. He had a good dream. Its the only dream you can have- to come out the number-one man. He fought it out here, and this is where Im gonna win it for him.
Willy Loman is an example of the middle class man caught as a victim of society where the odds are against him, a has-been. As a victim he unwillingly suppressed himself and his family in a web of lies and false pride. Although he never discovered his own ignorance and in the process took someone else, his death opened the window for Biff to see the real Willy. He had the wrong dreams. All, all, wrong. He then describes Willy to the point. He never knew who he was.
The metaphoric language used in the play is used mainly to advance its theme of idealism versus reality. The metaphors illustrate the plays portrayal of economic struggle and family instability. Furthermore, they can be classified what if metaphors and what is metaphors.
A what if metaphor addresses the idealistic lives of the Lomans. Dreams are constantly brought up by Biff who uses them to bring light to the fictitious and dreamy lives the family is living. When talking to Willy Biff says, Weve been talking in a dream for fifteen years. and later pleads with him to accept reality. Will you take that phony dream and burn it before something happens? Seeds are associated with Willys desire to create something, especially out of youth (Biff and Happy) and he often comments on planting them. Willy contemplates planting beet seeds in the garden. Maybe beets would grow out there. This creates an insightful response from Linda. But you tried so many times. The seeds are representative of Willys desire to grow his family into something; Lindas remark paints the fact that he has failed. Right before his suicide, which brought the family much needed money, Willy goes out to the backyard and begins to plant a garden.
A what is metaphor is exactly what it is, reality. The stockings represent Willys unfaithfulness to his wife and the torment that it brings him to know that. Willy snaps sharply at Linda when he sees her mending her stockings. I wont have you mending stockings in this house! Now throw them out! The sight of the stockings brings back memories of when Biff caught him cheating on his wife and found out that Willy gave his mistress the expensive stockings he was supposed to give Linda as a gift. The stockings then act as a symbol of Willy as a bad father and husband. The name Loman or Low-Man is metaphoric in that it describes and isolates the family at a low level social