Willy and Troy as Failures in "Fences" and "Death of a Salesman"
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The paper examines the plays "Fences" by August Wilson and "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller, and highlights how their respective main characters have similarities that transcend their differences. The paper points out that both Willy Loman and Troy Maxson display an inability to connect emotionally with their families while they attempt to uphold their respective principles of caring for these families. The paper further highlights how both men are unable to face the reality of their own inadequacy, they both believe that success in life means material wealth, both fail their sons and they ruin their relationships with their wives. The paper clearly shows how in both plays, the protagonists are failures as men, fathers and husbands, and their ultimate failure was in their death.
From the Paper:"One theme that both men represent, for example, is that success in life means material wealth. In Willy's terms, such success is the result of being "well liked" and also lucky. In this, Willy blames his own failure upon others, rather on his own inability, lack of ambition, or lack of commitment to his work. In other words, he deludes himself and thus is unable to transcend the limitations of his failure, because these are limitations that he created himself. Indeed, Willy goes as far as creating a golden past, where he was an excellent and successful salesman, simply because he was lucky and because others liked him.
"Troy's story, although contrasting with Willy's story in its specific basis upon the racial divide, is also one of past success and current failure. Like Willy, Troy is obsessed with providing for his family in purely materialistic terms. Also like Willy, he is not happy in his current situation, doing a job he does not enjoy and living in a past the glory of which is somewhat exaggerated. Indeed, Troy was a promising football player in the Negro Leagues, but never reached the Major Leagues, as he became too old to be a viable choice. Hence, like Willy, he blames his failure upon external sources rather than his own inadequacies."
Cite this Comparison Essay:
Willy and Troy as Failures in "Fences" and "Death of a Salesman" (2013, April 21) Retrieved September 23, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/willy-and-troy-as-failures-in-fences-and-death-of-a-salesman-152710/
"Willy and Troy as Failures in "Fences" and "Death of a Salesman"" 21 April 2013. Web. 23 September. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/willy-and-troy-as-failures-in-fences-and-death-of-a-salesman-152710/>