Death of a Salesman Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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What are the delusions (madness) of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller?

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Willy Loman has numerous delusions throughout the play, which protect him from the harsh realities of life. Willy Loman is a struggling salesman, who has failed to instill positive character traits in his children. Willy has allowed and encouraged his sons to steal, cheat, and lie, which has negatively affected the trajectory of their lives and is largely responsible for their lack of success. Willy taught Biff and Happy that the key to success was being well-liked, which is absolutely incorrect. Willy has also been a poor role model to his children and was even caught cheating on Linda. In order to protect himself from accepting the realities of his unfortunate situation, Willy creates delusions, which allow him to blame others for his lack of success. Willy blames his wife for not allowing him to follow Ben to Africa and also says that Biff has become a failure out of spite. Willy also refuses to take responsibility for offering terrible advice to his children and enabling them to...

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