How does Willy change throughout Death of a Salesman?

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Willy is very skilled at not plugging into reality. As the play opens, Willy is in his 60s and still has an inflated view of his own abilities as a salesman. He feels that he is valued enough that he can ask for a smaller territory, as he is slowing down—however, his boss uses this request as a reason to fire him. Willy has apparently been more of a liability than an asset to the company in recent years.

At this point, Willy is forced to start facing reality, a fact exacerbated by a visit from his sons. He reacts to this unwelcome situation in two ways: by having hallucinations, a coping method by which he simply flips off a reality that has become too unpleasant and disconnected from his fantasies, and, finally, by facing the reality he actually lives in.

By the end of the play, he has faced that he is a failure and that all he can offer Biff is the insurance money that comes from his death, so he kills himself. Sadly, however, he never seems to...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 526 words.)

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