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Willy Loman Existentialist?

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Autor:   •  January 6, 2011  •  605 Words (3 Pages)  •  292 Views

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Willy Loman an Existentialist?

Can anyone control their life? Is the power of control in human beings' hands to make choices and set or know the exact outcome of those choices? Personally, I don't believe that human beings are awarded with such a power as to be able to change any aspect of their lives. The purpose of my essay is to focus on the life of Willy Loman, a protagonist in a play called Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. Is Willy Loman an existentialist or he thinks he has no control over his life?

According to my own perspective, Willy Loman is and is not an existentialist. In his life, Willy Loman desires to be a wealthy and respectful man. His blueprint of becoming successful in life is what he often says, "Be liked and you will never want" (Miller 21). Willy believes that the key to success is being well liked by everyone in the business world. There was an eighty four year old salesman Dave Singleman, who was such an expert in his work that he would make a deal by calling the buyers without leaving his office. Willy Loman became extremely inspired by Dave Singleman that he believed being a salesman could be the greatest career a man could want. Unfortunately Willy did not turn out to be the greatest salesman as Dave Singleman was.

According to an online dictionary, existentialist is “a philosopher who emphasizes freedom of choice and personal responsibility but who regards human existence in a hostile universe as unexplainable” ("existentialist"). As I said before, Willy Loman is on both sides of being and not being an existentialist. A way that Willy is not an existentialist is that, when Willy goes to Howard, who is Willy’s boss, he keeps confidence in his mind that the reason that he’s going to Howard for will turn out to be in his favor. Willy wants to ask Howard for a raise and a job in which he doesn’t have to travel. Willy’s method of gaining success by being liked fails here. Willy’s confidence breaks when Howard terminates him from the job. So Willy could not control the outcome of his choice of going to Howard to talk, therefore he’s not

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