Willy and Nora: Tragic Heros or Home-wreckers? No 1 has a perfect life. Despite what Aaron Spelling and his friends in the media might project to society today. no one’s life is perfect. Everyone has struggles that they must confront sooner or later. The ways in which people deal with these struggles can be merely every bit varied as the people themselves. Some procrastinate and disregard their jobs every bit long as they can. while others attack jobs to acquire them out of the manner every bit shortly as possible. The Lowman and Helmer households have a figure of jobs that they deal with in different ways. which proves their similarities and differences. Both Willy Loman. the supporter of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and Nora Helmer. supporter of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House experience an epiphany where they realize that they were non the individual the idea they were: while Willy’s katharsis brings about his decease. Nora’s brings her to a new life ; hers. Both character’s defects bring about their going from their several households as good. They are both excessively concerned with the visual aspects they and their households present to society: as a consequence they both project false images to others.
From their visual aspect. both seem to be involved in stable matrimonies and look to be traveling topographic points. Willy’s occupation as a going salesman seems stable ( although we ne’er know what it is he sells ) when he tells his household that he “knocked ’em cold in Providence. slaughtered ’em in Boston” ( Miller 1228 ) . It is non until Willy’s married woman. Linda tells us that he “drives 700 stat mis and when he gets at that place. no 1 knows him any more. no 1 welcomes him” ( Miller 1241 ) . If that’s non plenty to convert readers of his failure on the occupation. the fact that he gets fired after working for the same company for 36 old ages cements his incompetence in the concern universe to readers. While Nora does non work in the concern universe. ( few adult female. if any did over 120 old ages ago ) her failure to take attention of her duties becomes rather apparent every bit good.
When the drama opens and Nora enters with a Christmas tree and nowadayss for the kids. she gives off the feeling of a good female parent seeking difficult to fix a great Christmas for her household. Upon farther analysis we see that Nora’s responsibilities. in general. are restricted to caring for the kids. making housekeeping. and working on her point lace. Nora can non finish these responsibilities even with the full-time aid of Anne Marie. a housekeeper who cleans up after Nora merely every bit much as the kids. When Nora and Kristine are holding a treatment towards the start of the drama. Nora informs her friend that. “I’m so happy and relieved [ with my matrimony ] . I must state its lovely to hold plentifulness of money and non hold to worry. Isn’t it? ” ( Ibsen 1119 ) . The rose-colored image she painted of her household and matrimony are in blunt contrast to the “stranger of a man” ( Ibsen 1168 ) she refers to her hubby as. We realize that she had non been populating her life at all ; instead the life that her hubby wanted her to populate. While both Willy and Nora win in giving of the visual aspect of being competent. efficient and helpful household members who contribute to the well being of their several households. they prove otherwise as the dramas advancement.
While the two dramas take topographic point about 100 old ages apart. are set on different continents and each have wholly different household members. both engage in prevarications and fraudulence that hurt their households ; after which each supporter leaves their household. Not merely does Willy lie about his public presentation on the occupation. he lies about his “faulty car” every bit good. He tells his household that the Studebaker keeps misfunctioning when in world we find out through Linda that he has been intentionally seeking to kill himself. The biggest manner in which Loman deceives his household is by rip offing on his married woman while off for work in Boston. When his eldest boy discovers his father’s infidelity. he loses all trust for his male parent. and Biff’s life reasonably much goes downhill from at that place. Willy Loman’s lies. fraudulence. infidelity have resulted in immense jobs for his household. Nora besides starts problem in her family through prevarications and fraudulence. Nora’s offense of counterfeit is non even a offense in her head ; she does non recognize that the jurisprudence does non take into history people’s motives behind their actions. While she knows that Krogstad has been associated with fly-by-night jurisprudence patterns. she does non recognize that his offense was on the same degree. if non less illegal than the 1 that she has committed.
When Tourvald opens the missive and finds out about her offense. he goes ballistic. and can non believe that his ain married woman could be capable of such a offense. This is finally the ground / state of affairs that helps Nora realize that she must go forth her household in order to get down to populate her ain life. But Nora even lies about the small things in life such as the feeding of macaroons ( Ibsen 1126 ) . Her hubby forbade her from eating them on history that they will decompose her dentitions. and when she is seen eating them in her house. she says that they are a gift from Kristine. which is a prevarication. Both Willy and Nora’s prevarications and craftiness frustrate their households to the point where each supporter much leave their household ; although Willy’s going is his decease. Nora’s is the start of her existent life. Both chief characters besides use an flight mechanism to go forth world when they realize that their lives are on the incorrect way. When Loman starts to recognize that his pride and joy in life. Biff. “is a lazy bum” ( Miller 1218 ) he begins to speak to himself ( Miller 1221 ) . These mental oversights bring Loman to a happy topographic point and clip. when his childs were immature and guiltless and he thought that the best portion of his life lay still in front. This acts about as a defence mechanism against the strivings of world for Willy.
In the concluding scene. after Biff tells his male parent that he is “a dime a dozen” and that the Loman name truly doesn’t mean much. Willy engages in the ultimate flight mechanism ; suicide. Although it may look on the surface to be a selfish and coldhearted move to hurt his household. he really did it so that his household may populate a better life with money he thinks they will have from his life insurance policy. When faced with the harsh strivings of world. Nora besides uses defence / flight mechanisms to disregard the jobs at manus foremost. so to suppress them in the terminal. She believes that she has done nil incorrect. and that if what she has done is illegal. that her good purposes will invalidate the illegality of her counterfeit. When Krogstad informs her otherwise. tells her the possible reverberations of her act. and finally gives her an ultimatum. this is her first touch of world outside of the doll’s house that she lives in. To get by with the abrasiveness outside of this doll’s house. she instantly retreats back inside and efforts to deflect herself with Christmas ornaments ( Ibsen 1133 ) .
She uses the tree and nowadayss to deflect her from her jobs. and tells the nursemaid Anne Marie that she’s excessively busy to play with her childs who want to see her because she must seek to distance her head from the topic at manus. Here she is merely doing the job worse by non covering with it. When she eventually realizes that her “main responsibility [ is ] to [ her ] self” ( Ibsen 1166 ) . and that she has been populating life harmonizing to what her male parent and hubby have wanted instead than what she has wanted. Nora’s epiphany is complete. She knows that the lone possible solution that can work for her is to go forth right off. Willy and Nora both escape their jobs foremost by floating off with mental distractions. so when they to the full realize their jobs. they both must physically go forth their households.
For Willy this means decease. for Nora. the start of ( a new ) life. Willy and Nora portion a fatal defect: they try to do others happy before doing themselves happy. All that Willy of all time wanted in life was to be “well-liked” and for his boies to follow in his footfalls. Their lives focused excessively much on carry throughing others instead than themselves. and in the terminal this defect led to their going from each of their several households. When Charley asks Willie “when the snake pit are you of all time traveling to turn up? ” and Biff declares that “we ne’er told the truth in this house for 10 minutes” ( Miller 1280 ) we realize that Willy will ne’er turn up and that he must go forth his household because he will ne’er turn up and that about his whole life has been a travesty. Similarly. when Nora tells her hubby that the lone manner he ( and her ) can merely alter if Tourvald has “his doll taken away” ( Ibsen 1168 ) we realize that Nora’s life excessively has been a travesty and that she must go forth in order to get down her ain life.