Why doesn't Willy Loman deserve our sympathy? Why is it significant not to have sympathy for these men?

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appletrees eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Willy Loman is a working class man who makes choices that hurt his family and his self-worth. Although it may be natural for the life of a traveling salesman, when Willy is portrayed as having extramarital affairs it undermines his integrity and leads the audience to view him in a less sympathetic light. His suicide attempts also tend to make him seem like an unsympathetic character, since his suicide would leave his family without a provider. The title of the play suggests Willy Loman is a sort of Everyman character, representative of the working classes of his generation, and also that his life and his choices are universal and recognizable. In this way Miller is commenting on American society and the banality and hopelessness of this way of life.

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Death of a Salesman

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