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• Does Willy possess any honorable or redeeming characteristics? Consider...

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janetpop67 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 26, 2011 at 9:41 AM via web

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• Does Willy possess any honorable or redeeming characteristics? Consider particularly his hubris and motivations in committing suicide. In what respect are they to be appreciated or even esteemed? In what respect are they misguided or wrong?

• Does Willy possess any honorable or redeeming characteristics? Consider particularly his hubris and motivations in committing suicide. In what respect are they to be appreciated or even esteemed? In what respect are they misguided or wrong?

 

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 14, 2012 at 3:58 AM (Answer #2)

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Willy commits suicide in the hopes that he might not be a complete failure. If the insurance company pays, he won't be leaving his family with nothing.

This act demonstrates Willy's sense of his own failure and an acceptance of the facts which he so vocally and energetically denies throughout the play. If we can say that it is honorable to face one's worst fear - which for Willy is the fear that he really is nothing; a nobody - then we can find some small honor in Willy.

Yet, this fear is faced only via a final escape. Willy Loman dies acknowledging his failure as a father, a husband, and a business man.

The only thing to be esteemed in Willy is his ability to dream and to be transported by dream. Though his dreams are a symptom of his moral weakness, Willy none-the-less has the power of belief, which he transfers to his wife and children.

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