Characters in modern plays are the people between the subconscious of the audience or readers. These characters give a different reality and become a new experience for the reader because the hero has one tragic flaw that conquers them, ruins them, and brings them humility. This tragic nature is how the flaws of humanity found through sin; sin is one of the many habits which mark these modern play characters as human, that create specific characteristics and through confession or the confession of characters in a play, this nature becomes like a myth in the end there is death or forgiveness. The following essay will compare Willy Loman to a fictional character.
Willy Loman and this fictional character both share the common trait of being tragic heroes. This means that neither character is in control of their own fate but instead their destiny lies in the hands of the gods, in a way. This lack of control over their fate is the comparison between both characters. However, it is the way in which both characters face their destiny which truly makes them brave. The brave eye of the tragic hero when faced with their fate and their doom is what causes the men to be great, to be remembered.
Despite the fact that both characters are brave in their end, in their doom, they are also both faced with a choice of hope at the end of their story. Willy realizes that his life is merely one piece of bad luck after another, and his made up reality is shattered when he comes to this realization just as the fictional character of this essay shows a sense of bravery in the face of doom when he discovers that fate is an unbending sword which does not yield to desire but continues to control the lives of the men in the story.
For Willy Loman, his reality isn’t focused on ego; he knows where he is, what he is, but his tragic flaw is accounted for in the pitfall of acceptance. Willy Loman doesn’t try to change anything, but is caught up in weakness, and essentially blind to anything with a silver lining. In Willy’s acceptance of his own commonness is his own personal flaw. This is not true however for the fictional character of this essay. This character does not trade in his desire for control into a hopeless future but instead continues to have faith in his own ability to conquer the future despite the lonely aspect of having fate continually flaunt its eager ability to spoil such hope by bringing more and more bad luck into his path. Willy doesn’t strive to be any better but allows himself to dully, and almost without protest accept that he’s a dime a dozen.
This is not the fictional character’s tragic flaw. His weakness is not a compromise to his great dreams. Willy is a common man who doesn’t stand out in a crowd but the fictional character of this essay signifies to a great dreaming despite the plans of fate and the facts of his ever increasing reality of not having ‘made it’ yet; whether in wealth, love, or family. While the fictional character does not pay attention to society’s rules of being noticed in luxury, Willy’s power to be invisible is what makes these two characters essentially different.
No one seems to care in his existence and for Willy Loman, this realization in turn makes him not care about his own existence in a way, toward the end of the play at least, when his hope is close to banished. This small response can be found in a few muttered lines from Willy, “I’ve always tried to think otherwise, I guess. I always felt that if a man was impressive, and well like, that nothing-“(97). This sums up Loman’s fate; his drowning enthusiasm pitted against an uncaring cast of characters. In the idea of fate and chance, Willy and this fictional character are the same on every point of fate controlling their lives, but the difference is that Willy eventually accepts it while the fictional character tries everything in his power to not allow such a control of himself to be allowable by ‘the gods’ or fate.
Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. Penguin Books, New York, 1949.