Death of a Salesman: Flawed Character or a Flawed Society?.
Progressions in science in this century have led to remarkable innovations in business. Advancements in business, however, do not necessarily signify progressions in the ways that people live. Some people can never meet the standards that society sets for them. Most encounter a society with a standard of living that is unparalleled throughout history. The main character in Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman, lives a life of incredible grief and hardship, aggravated by worlds of promise that he cannot ever seem to meet. Willy's tragedy is due more to society's negative influence than to actual faults in his own character.
Willy Loman is host to many flaws and deficiencies ranging from suicidal tendencies to psychotic disorders; however, these faults do not totally account for his tragic death. Society's expectations play a huge part by stripping him of his dignity. Society robs him of his lifestyle and his sons took away his hope for the future. Willy's most important ambition is to take himself and his family from a life of nothing to a life full of material goods and prestige. The lifestyle that he hopes to lead turned out to be impossible. He wants to have wealth and high social status, but it never happened. He had huge hopes for his children, but they too failed at making anything of themselves. His biggest flaw is greed. He is forever trying to get ahead of other people, at any cost and he has little regard for other people's feelings. His only concern is his own personal gain. Society is full of people like this. People become so busy and focused on their careers or other personal goals that little else has much weight on their actions. They are greedy for power and money. This kind of attitude can drive people to great success, but sometimes it can result in their ruin. .
Parallel with this statement is another of society's main flaws, this being lack of compassion.