In Death of a Salesman, highlight and analyse the strengths and weaknesses you observe in the Loman family.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Let us start off by thinking of the strengths of the Loman family. In one word, I would say the most significant strength can be summed up in the figure of Linda. She is the driving force of the family that tries to bring her sons and her husband together, and also tries to keep her husband on the straight and narrow, caring for him and looking after him. She is such a force of goodness as she is always optimistically encouraging him in spite of his obvious failings and his increasing lack of ability in sales.

Thinking about weaknesses, there are a number we could comment on! One of the biggest however is Willy and his obvious slide into dementia as he finds his own reality of life far easier to cope with than the real reality that threatens to expose all of his illusions and pretensions. Not only does this threaten the stability of the family economically, but as the play develops it becomes clear that his focus on the American Dream and his unerring belief in its supremacy has influenced his children to grow up having unrealistic expectations of themselves and their lives. This is one of the central conflicts of the play and is something that threatens the very fabric of the Loman family.

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