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The Impact of Isolation in Death of a Salesman

  • Date Submitted: 12/10/2012 02:31 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 69.1 
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The Impact of Isolation in Death of a Salesman

Arthur Miller's play Death of a Salesman is the story of a man, Willy Loman, gone deaf to the outside world. Though many try to help him, he shuts them out and creates his own reality in which he is successful and loved by everyone. In Death of a Salesman, Willy has many influences both good and bad attempting to direct his life; it is his refusal to choose the helpful advice that will ultimately lead to his downfall. 
One negative influence in Willy's life is the inability of his friends to confront him about his problems. It is Willy's wife that causes him the most harm in the play. In her vain attempt to protect Willy, she actually somewhat causes the future death of him. The first sign of her negligence comes in one of Willy's flashbacks. Willy brags that, "I did five hundred gross in Providence and seven hundred gross in Boston". But as Linda begins calculating his commission, the value rapidly diminishes to "roughly two hundred gross on the whole trip". Linda sees what is going on but does not confront him. A very similar situation occurs later in their life when she finds out that Willy is no longer on salary, but borrows money every week from Charley. Again she will not confront him. By not confronting Willy in either of these situations, Linda allows him to sink further into his false reality. But Linda makes an even worse mistake that allows for Willy's suicide. She acknowledges his suicidal tendencies when she says, "He's been trying to kill himself". She tells the boys that she has found the rubber hose in the basement, but she still will not confront Willy. If I were in the situation I wouldn’t know how to approach willy, so maybe that’s where Linda is coming from. But Linda is not the only one that recognizes this and does nothing about it. Another character who is unable to be straight with Willy is Willy's boss Howard Wagner. Howard allows Willy to keep his job, but does not pay him. If he had just...

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