本文是一篇Essay代寫范文，題目為The cause of death of Willy Lowman，本文主要討論了喜劇《推銷員之死》的主角威利·洛曼（Willy Loman）的死因。本文認為，主人公威利·洛曼（Willy Loman）在其最成功的戲劇《推銷員之死》（death of a sales）中的死亡原因，并非美國夢的破滅，而是他對“被人喜愛”的錯誤認識。霍華德·富勒指出：“推銷員可以成為現代悲劇最合適的英雄。威利是美國生活中一個重要而決定性的美國人精神的代表”（富勒，1977:241）。
The cause of death of Willy Lowman
As a playwright who has a strong sense of commitment to the society and has a heart for people at the bottom of the society, Arthur Miller writes in a way that reflects the reality and brings issues that concern all walks of life to close attention and examination. He is successful in visualizing modern tragedy. This essays believes that the reason for the death of the leading character, Willy Loman from one of his most successful plays the death of a salesman, was his wrong perception of “being well-liked” instead of the collapse of the American dream. A Howard Fuller pointed out that “the salesman can be the fittest hero for a modern tragedy. And Willy is the representative of the spirit of a large and decisive segment of American of American life” (Fuller, 1977:241).
作為一個對社會有強烈責任感、心系社會底層的劇作家，阿瑟·米勒的寫作方式反映了現實，也讓社會各界關注和審視著關注的問題。他成功地將現代悲劇形象化。本文認為，主人公威利·洛曼（Willy Loman）在其最成功的戲劇《推銷員之死》（death of a sales）中的死亡原因，并非美國夢的破滅，而是他對“被人喜愛”的錯誤認識。霍華德·富勒指出：“推銷員可以成為現代悲劇最合適的英雄。威利是美國生活中一個重要而決定性的美國人精神的代表”（富勒，1977:241）。
After this influential play the death of a salesman was brought to Broadway, it has been running for several hundred shows. It received applauses from home and abroad. The death of a salesman is about the last twenty-four hours of the old salesman, Willy Loman. The play starts with Willy Loman returning home with two sample cases. He has been suffering a nervous breakdown because of his job pressure. With an old age and declining health, Willy is no longer competent for the job as a salesman, which requires a lot of travelling across the country. However, when he asks his boss, Howard Wagner to let him settle in the office in New York City, Howard decides to fire him with no consideration of the old times, throwing him out of the window like orange peels. This marks the end of his big dream of making something of himself. To make things worse, the older son of Willy’s, on whom Willy has pinned all of his hope, is a good-for-nothing. Willy has two sons. Biff, who was once the source of satisfaction for Willy, can not find himself even in his thirties. He gets by, doing some odd jobs on the ranch in the west. Willy’s second son, Happy, is less than a successful salesman in a way just like his father. Happy leads a life lacking of discipline and with the aim of pursuing worldly pleasure. In desperation, Willy decided to commit suicide, in the hope that Biff can relive his life and realize his dram by his insurance. By adopting the stream of consciousness and expressionism, Arthur Miller paints either the past memories or Willy’s fantasy to bring the reason of Willy’s death home.
A wide range of analyses has been done on the causes that lead to the death of Willy Loman, either from the side of society or his personalities. A majority of essays also explore how the American dream has collapsed and examine the root causes for it. From their point of view, the reason for the downfall of the American dream lies in the society. The modern American society is no longer the same one that is dated back to the times of Benjamin Franklin，when the society was full of opportunities and created a level playing field. “Some will get wealthy. I don’t believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good. So while we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else” (Sandage, 131). In the modern society, ordinary American people stand a slim chance of succeeding from the scratch. This essays takes on the view that the main reason for the death of the salesman is his self-deceiving philosophy of “being well-liked” instead of the general idea that a society which is highly sophisticated in business and commerce is no place for the realization of the American dream.
Generally speaking, the American dream means that as long as an individual works hard enough and tries to save every penny he earns, he can make his dream come true in this free and fair state. It is a belief that boasts diligence, perseverance, courage and determination. Equipped with such personality traits, everyone can achieve success and be at the top of the society. It is a belief that counts on in individual’s self motivation instead of reliance on others or aid from others. President Barack Obama often talked about the American dream in his presidential campaign. According to him, the American dream promises everyone the freedom to live a life of one’s choice. In that sense, the American dream is within reach, though calling for dreamers’ relentless efforts.
Just as every ordinary American at that time, Willy believes that the United States is a great country, where everyone can realize his dream. As for his dream, it is that by the time he has lived to an ripe old age, he can still sale products as many as possible, copying the success of his idol. He can seal a deal by just making phone calls to the buyers. He does not have to travel far away. Ideally, after he dies, hundreds of thousands of his counterparts and buyers will attend his funeral and pay tribute to him. After seeing the example of his idol in the sales business, Willy begins to count salesmen as the greatest job that one can ever do. His dream is to become a successful salesman as his idol. There is nothing wrong with his dream. However, the problem is that Willy creates a set of “being well-liked” philosophy that belongs only to him. Form his point of view, people’s skills hold no candle to a good look and being popular. As long as you are popular among people, success comes along your way. What matters is not what you do, but who you know. In reality, Willy lives by his own philosophy. Instead of keeping his feet on the ground, he spends a whole lot of time bragging about how popular he is and how good a salesman he is. For example, he speaks boastfully about that in New England, he can park his car on any road. Policemen there will protect his car like their own. However, the reality is that people do no seem to like him. When his dream drifts away, he retires to his world of fantasy. He has never tasted success. The fact is that he fails to come in terms with the reality. Lonely and tired, he attempts to end his life several times: by car crash and using pipe lines. It is the philosophy of “being well liked” that takes his mind from working hard. He divulges in his illusion, shutting the real world out of the door. Ever in his prime time, all he earns is not as much as he believes. In the end, he has to ask Charley for money to survive.
The last straw that breaks Willy’s back, no doubt, is his son Biff, who was raised to believe the philosophy of “being well liked”. Biff once has the chance to get scholarships from three colleges, but he ruins that promising future by failing exams. All of this results from Willy’s “being well liked” philosophy. Willy does not pay too much attention to his sons’ school work. The word often on his lips is being popular. Being brainwashed like this, Biff aims high, but he does not do anything. Willy makes him believe that being popular is the ticket to success and wealth. Therefore, Biff is arrogant and tends to think too much of himself. As a result, Biff keeps changing jobs. Biff will go out and swim in working hours and blow whistle in the elevator. His misbehavior makes the pattern of being fired frequent to him. His second son Happy, needless to say, hangs around all day long with no aims in life.
Being deeply influenced by his philosophy, Willy does not put morality in an important place of his two sons’ education. It is no wonder that Biff does not be condemned when he steals a football from the school. Willy even makes excuse for his wrongdoing, saying it is all for the sake of practicing. What’s worse, Willy even asks his sons to seal sand and timber from the construction sites.
At the same time, Willy also belittles his sons’ academic performance. He thinks that Bernard might outdo his son in terms of exam results in school, but when it comes to going out in the society, his good-looking son will be favored by success. Bernard informs Willy later on that why Biff fails to succeed is due to the lack of skills. Willy is the blame of all this. Instead of asking his son to try his best to do well in school, he requests Bernard to pass on answers to Biff when taking exams. When he knows that Bernard urges Biff to learn math considering he may fail this subject if no work is put into it, instead of criticizing his own son, he points his finger at Bernard, saying Bernard is not bold enough to go his own way. Yet what turns out is that Biff loses the opportunity to go to college and begins the road of abandoning himself.
In the death of a salesman, the failure of Willy’s family is sharply in contrast with the success of Charley’s. As a matter of fact, Charley and his son Bernard cannot live up to the standard of “being well liked”. Even though Charley is not that popular and Bernard is not brave enough in Willy’s eyes, they are very practical and willing to keep their feet on the ground, doing things step by step. The success of Charley and Bernard has a lot to do with their action. They are the real doer of the American dream. Charley can take things lightly. For example, he will not make a big deal out of a broken glass. The loss of five cents is no big deal to him. On the other hand, Willy is too stubborn and reluctant to make changes. As a result, he keeps living in his own fantasy and refuses to work for Charley, which do make Charley really angry.
As a matter of fact, there are characters who realize their American dream by hard work in the play the death of a salesman. The main reason for Willy and his sons’ failure is the lack of honesty and hard work, which has something to do with Willy’s unrealistic fantasy and Willy’s education on his sons. The reason behind Willy’s wild fantasy is his philosophy of “being well-liked. Toward the end of the play, Biff finally comes to realize what is going on in his life. He sees right through who Willy actually is and makes up his mind to put all those illusion behind. He wakes up from his self-weaving dream. On the other hand, Willy is not willing to face the reality. Part of the reason is that he feels that no one can understand him and talk to him in reality. There is a scene that when Willy goes to meet Howard, he finds that the chair that Howard sits on shines brightly in a glorious way. It is like a chair coming to life. This illusion, in Willy’s mind however, is the symbol of success and glory, but that chair is out of reach for him even though it is just right before Willy. Sadly, Willy does not realize why he sinks to this and why Charley and Bernard get to sit on the shinny chair.
Not willing to acknowledge his real situation, he resorts to suicide, believing by doing so his value can be maintained. He even hopes that after his death, his son Biff can go on to follow his footsteps and realize the American dream for him. He expects that all of his old friends from different sates to make it to his funeral. Sadly, all of his illusion is all for the same purpose, proving that he his being well liked and well acknowledged by people. The truth is, his last hope does not come true. People do not show up in his funeral. He dies alone and it is the end of his American dream. The utter tragedy of Willy is that he fails to acknowledge that his life-long failures is due to his philosophy of “being well-liked”. At the end of this essay, the author believes that an extract of Martin Luther King said the American best, “Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American Dream” (King, 1968:10).
Fuller A. Howard, A Salesman Is Everyone. In Weales, G. Death of a Salesman: Test and Criticism, pp.241-243. New York: Penguin Books.
Johnson Publishing Comapany Inc: Martin Luther King Jr. 1929-1968: A, Hohnson Publishing Company (IL).
Sandage, Scott A. Born Losers: A History of Failure in America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005.