How in denial is Willy Loman from Death of a Salesman?

Willy Loman lives a life of denial. He lies to himself and retreats into fantasy and hallucination to avoid facing that he has been a failure as a salesman. Much of the play is based in his imaginary conversations and hallucinations that he uses as shields from his bleak reality.

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Willy Loman is the portrait of a man living in denial. All his life, he has clung to the dream that he can get rich quickly and easily through sales. He has always believed that he could succeed on personality alone without needing any expertise.

In his 60s, Willy is...

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Willy Loman is the portrait of a man living in denial. All his life, he has clung to the dream that he can get rich quickly and easily through sales. He has always believed that he could succeed on personality alone without needing any expertise.

In his 60s, Willy is a failure as a salesman, though he doesn't want to admit it. He barely keeps himself and his wife Linda afloat, despite how badly he overrates his talents. He has to borrow money from his neighbor to survive. He lives so fully in denial that when he asks if he can get a non-traveling sales job as a reward for his good work, his boss's son uses his request an excuse to ease him out his job.

Willy retreats into fantasy and hallucination in order to stay in denial. He has imaginary conversations with his brother Ben, who struck it rich in diamond mines. He refuses to acknowledge that he has led his beloved son Biff astray to the point that he is also a failure.

Willy would have been a happy and successful gardener, at least according to Linda, but was seduced by idea of getting rich quick. He denies that his life path has been a mistake. He dreams, even as he is ready to commit suicide, that his funeral will be overrun with people attesting to his business success. In fact, almost nobody shows up, which highlights his failure.

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