In the “Death of a Salesman” how does Willy Loman die?

Updated 21 March, 2023
In "Death of a Salesman," the protagonist, Willy Loman, dies by suicide. He is a struggling salesman who feels trapped and unhappy in his life, unable to achieve the success he has always longed for. His mental and emotional decline worsens throughout the play, leading to his final decision to end his life in order to provide his family with the insurance money. The play explores themes of the American Dream, the pressure to succeed, and the impact of societal expectations on individuals.
Detailed answer:

In Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman," the death of Willy Loman is a pivotal moment that brings together the themes of failure, disillusionment, and the American Dream. As the play progresses, we see Willy's mental state deteriorate, as he struggles to accept the reality of his life and his failures as a salesman and a father. This culminates in his suicide, which is both a tragedy and a final act of desperation.

The actual death scene is not depicted on stage, but we learn from the characters that Willy has died by suicide, by inhaling gas from the pipes in his home. This method of suicide is significant, as it highlights the sense of suffocation and confinement that Willy feels in his life. It also serves as a metaphor for the death of the American Dream, which Willy has pursued relentlessly but ultimately failed to achieve.

The aftermath of Willy's death is equally important, as it forces his family to confront the reality of their own lives and relationships. Willy's death ultimately serves as a catalyst for change, as his son Biff finally confronts his own failures and begins to take steps towards a more authentic and fulfilling life. Overall, Willy's death is a tragic and poignant moment in the play, which serves as a powerful commentary on the struggles of the human condition and the dangers of chasing impossible dreams.

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