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A Life Of Dreams And Illusion As Depicted In The Death Of A Salesman

Hiding the Truth

Many people like to live in an illusionary world, which they know is not true. One example is when a lazy, obese man looks in the mirror and he sees a different, well-built man. This illusion is apparent to him, but uses it as a cover up of reality. This pertains to Willy Loman, the main character in Arthur Miller s The Death of a Salesman. Willy makes up many illusions which hide the truth of reality. Willy lives in a world of illusions including the belief that he is well liked, his son Biff is destined for greatness, and that Bernard, his neighbor s son, is unsuccessful now and later on also.

Willy s belief that he is a well liked and popular proves to be an apparent illusion in the story. One example why this is an illusion is when Linda, the wife of Willy, says to Charley and Biff during the funeral of Willy Why didn t anybody come? But where are all the people he knew? (P.137). Thus the quote shows that Willy was not as popular as he thought he was. If Willy was truly well liked by many people, there would have been more people at his funeral. Willy finally realizes that he is not well liked and he says it himself while speaking to Charley you re the only friend I got (p. 98). The quote implies Willy does not have many friends as he points out in the story. If Willy were well liked by everyone, then he would have more friends, not just Charley.

Believing Biff is destined for greatness is just another illusion in the story. He is not destined for greatness because of his poor performance in his educational studies. Bernard, one of his friends, says to him You re supposed to study with me today if you don t start studyin math he s gonna flunk you, and you won t graduate. (P.32) Even with his friend s warning, Biff flunks the test and does not graduate. Now that Biff has not graduated from high school, it is a clue in the story that he is not destined for greatness. Biff is never destined for greatness due to the fact that he has lead a life of crime since his teenage years. Biff never obtained greatness because he went to jail for stealing. And being in jail is not considered to be a great thing for a person.

Willy thinks Bernard will not be a successful person in life, but this is another illusion in the story. Towards the end of the conversation with Charley, Willy says He s a fine boy. They re all fine boys, and they ll end up big (p.98). This quote contradicts many things Willy said about Bernard because earlier in the story he says to Biff Bernard could get the marks in school, y understand, but when he gets into the business world, you are going to be five times ahead of him (p.33). The quote is suggesting that Biff will be successful in life, but Bernard will never be. In the beginning of the story, Willy suggests that Bernard will never truly be successful. But as time passes on Willy finds out that Bernard has become a top lawyer who will be arguing a case in the Supreme Court, which shows Bernard has become very successful life.

Many illusions have been made to hide the truth of the matter. One of the biggest illusions still around today is, how women cover themselves up with makeup. They are trying to make an illusion to men by covering themselves up to make them look like a different person because they want to hide their true beauty or they are insecure of their looks. Willy Loman made up these illusions because they were hid the truth. In Willy s view, these illusions seemed to be reality because of his philosophy that he believes in. His philosophy caused him to make wrong assumptions of his son s greatness, Bernard s successfulness, and his belief that he is well liked.

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