English 4: Tragic Hero

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  •  Noble Birth: A Successful Salesman
  • Willy: "America is full of beautiful towns and fine, upstanding people. And they know me, boys, they know me up and down New England. The finest people. And when I bring you fellas up, there'll be open sesame for all of us, 'cause one thing boys: I have friends. I can park my car in any street in New England, and the cops protect it like their own."-(pg. 19)
  • Happy: "I'm losing weight, you notice, Pop?"-(pg.21)
  • Biff: "Gee, I'd love to go with you sometime, Dad."-(pg.19)
  • Tragic Flaw: Pride
  • "That's why I thank Almighty God you're both built like Adonises. Because the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want. you take me, for instance. I never have to wait in line for a buyer. 'Willy Loman is here!' That's all they have to know, and I go right through."-(pg.21)
  • Peripeteia: Reversal of Fortune
  • Willy: "Charley, I'm strapped, I'm strapped. I don't know what to do. I was just fired."-(pg.75)
  • His nobility derives from his success as a salesman, he portrays himself as being well-liked and recognized by the public. By his status, he is not only a good role model to his sons but also an important salesman in the business world.
  • Anagnorisis: Discovering Oneself
  • Charley: "The only thing you got in this world is what you can sell. And the funny thing is that you're a salesman and you don't know that."-(pg.75)
  • Willy's pride is reflected in his son's for their good looks and personalities that they are born with. He believes his sons are born to be successful just like their father. He is also prideful for having the same characteristics as a salesman because they are the purpose of his success of being well-liked and known in the business world.
  • Nemesis: Unavoidable Punishment
  • Willy: "It's twenty thousand dollars on the barrel head."-(pg.100)
  • Ben: "Its called a cowardly thing, William."-(pg.100)
  • Willy can only relate his success to his career a salesman. Without his job, he has nothing to achieve to earn his American dream but his pride led to his downfall. He believed that his boss Howard will upgrade his job to Boston because he named him before he was born and he was well acquainted with his father.  
  • Catharsis: Feelings of Pity and Fear
  • "As the car speeds off, the music crashes down in a frenzy of sound, which becomes the soft pulsation of a single cello string... The music has developed into a dead a march. All stop a moment when Linda, in clothes of mourning, bearing a bunch of roses... Linda lays down the flowers, kneels, and sits back on her heels. All stare at the grave."-(pg.104)
  • He realizes that the attributes he believed led to success as a salesman, had no significance in the business world. Instead, it reflected his pride and ignorance that he showed to the people that achieved his American Dream. So in his death, his family will earn the largest finance he will never achieve alive and believes that at his funeral his worth will be proven by the many important people that will attend.
  • Willy: "You end up worth more dead than alive."-(pg.76)
  • Willy has given up on life and has decided to take initiative of his unavoidable suicide. The only thing in his life that he can control and believes that will end his failure, because of his pride he doesn't want to continue living as an unsuccessful salesman. 
  • Willy: Why? Does it take more guts to stand here the rest of my life ringing up zero?"_(pg.100)
  • Willy did commit suicide, with the belief that the money will end all their financial struggles and Biff will use his insurance money to be successful once more. The irony is that the house they were in debt to pay was finally paid on the same day as his funeral and his wife that he vowed to treat better will live alone at their home. 
  • Linda: "I made the last payment today. Today, dear. And there'll be nobody home. We're free and clear."-(pg. 112)
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