Essay 2 Prompts: Death of a Salesman
Essay 2 Prompts: Death of a Salesman | English G110
Select one prompt and write an argumentative literary analysis essay that uses the theory and three secondary sources.1. Willy Loman has been called a modern tragic hero because, among other things, he is a common man; he is not “highly renowned and prosperous” like the tragic heroes of traditional tragedies. As a common man, what is Willy struggling against? Write a paper in which you analyze the internal and external forces Willy struggles against to maintain his dignity. Use three secondary sources. One of your sources might be used to explain a specific concept related to tragedies; the other two sources should be books or articles on the play.
In the play “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, the main character Willy Loman is struggling against a number of internal and external challenges.
Internally, Willy is struggling with his own sense of identity and worth. He has always believed that the key to success is being well-liked and having a good personality, but as he gets older and has less success in his career, he begins to doubt this belief and feels like a failure. He is also struggling with mental health issues and has frequent hallucinations and flashbacks.
Externally, Willy is struggling against the changing expectations and realities of the society in which he lives. He has always believed in the “American Dream” of success and prosperity through hard work and determination, but as he gets older and the world around him changes, he finds it harder and harder to achieve this dream. He is also struggling against his own age and physical limitations, as he is no longer as physically or mentally capable as he once was.
Overall, Willy is struggling against his own limitations and the changing world around him, as he tries to come to terms with his own identity and find a sense of meaning and purpose in his life.
2. In many ways, Death of Salesman is about the drama that plays out in Willy Loman’s head. Willy’s present life is shaped and often hindered by his memory of the past. Sometimes the lines between past, present, and future dreams and fears are blurred. Write an essay in which you psychoanalyze Willy Loman and show how he contributes to the family dysfunction. Use three secondary sources. One of your sources might be used to explain a specific concept related to psychoanalytic criticism or psychoanalysis; the other two sources should be books or articles on the play.First, Willy’s own mental health issues and inability to cope with the realities of his life contribute to the overall tension and strife within the family. His frequent hallucinations and flashbacks, as well as his tendency to retreat into his own memories and fantasies, create a sense of instability and unpredictability within the household.
Second, Willy’s unrealistic expectations and constant pressure on his sons, Biff and Happy, to be successful contribute to the family’s dysfunction. He pushes them to follow in his footsteps and become successful salesmen, but his own lack of success and the changing societal expectations make this difficult for them. This leads to conflict and resentment within the family.
Finally, Willy’s infidelity and betrayal of his wife Linda also contribute to the family dysfunction. His affair with another woman causes trust issues and emotional pain for Linda and the rest of the family, further adding to the overall sense of instability and unhappiness within the household.
Overall, Willy’s own personal and emotional issues, as well as his failure to understand and support the needs of his family, contribute to the family dysfunction depicted in the play.
3. Willy Loman’s world is very much a capitalist world. The play puts front and center many defining elements and symbols of capitalism and the American dream. In what ways is Willy Loman (and his family) a product of a system beyond his control? Discuss the various ideologies that structure his world. Use three secondary sources. One of your sources might be used to explain a specific concept related to Marxist criticism or economic theory; the other two sources should be books or articles on the play.
Willy Loman and his family are depicted as being trapped within a societal system that is beyond their control.
Willy is a salesman who has always believed in the “American Dream” of success and prosperity through hard work and determination. However, as he gets older and the world around him changes, he finds it increasingly difficult to achieve this dream. He is no longer as physically or mentally capable as he once was, and the expectations and realities of the society in which he lives have changed. Despite his best efforts, he is unable to find success and is forced to rely on his wife Linda’s income and the generosity of his boss to make ends meet.
Willy’s sons, Biff and Happy, are also trapped within this system. They have grown up with Willy’s expectations and beliefs about success, but they are unable to live up to them. Biff, in particular, struggles to find his place in the world and is unable to find success or happiness despite his best efforts.
Overall, the Loman family is depicted as being trapped within a societal system that is beyond their control, and which makes it difficult for them to achieve their goals and find happiness. The play suggests that the pursuit of the “American Dream” and the expectations and realities of society can be destructive and lead to unhappiness and dysfunction.Length: 1500 words minimum (not counting Works Cited page)Tutor Review Due: November 19 or 26, 2022Final Draft Due: November 20 or 27, 2022
Essay 2 Prompts: Death of a Salesman