Life…., is nothing but a book with an inevitable plot. With every page you turn you are forced to ask yourself, what will you be exposed to next? Just like our life’s books contain chapters, often provoking sorrow, hope, happiness and the occasional inability to overcome the accommodations of life. In The “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur miller. Willy Loman is a self-deluded salesman, who obtains a questionable mental status. Burdened by his unsuccessful career, he enters a state of mental depression that causes a series of hallucinations, unable to escape his state of madness; his consistent episodes take a toll on his interpersonal relationships with his family. Therefore a individual who suffers from mental depression can emotionally effect all members of the family.
Death of a sales man addresses the characters incapability of accepting reality. Willy Lomans, abnormal nature has a drastic effect on his family. Willy’s state of mind stems from his inability to achieve the American Dream. A life that offers financial stability, a perfect family, and respect from all. Willy yearned for the American Dream, but failed to proceed to his ambition. This lack of prosperity caused him to enter a dark tunnel of hallucinations and denial. Willy’s emotional imbalance leads to a tumultuous relationship with his son Biff. “When you write your coming he’s all smiles and talks about the future, and he’s just wonderful. And then the closer you seem to come the more shaky he gets and then by the time you get here he’s arguing and seems angry at you” (Miller, 54). Willy and Biff had several controversies, Biffs Unsuccessful career and failure to arise to his father’s standards, escalated to resentment. When Biff informs his parents of his visit, Willy is overjoyed by the news but once Biff arrives, Willy is unable to accept him and causes several outbursts that upset Biff and cause him to hate his father. The mood swings that willy had experienced in regards to Biffs visit resulted from Manic Depression. In the article “Bipolar Disorder” by Dr. Arnold Lieber, Lieber explains “Bipolar Disorder also known as Manic depression causes serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking and behavior”. As proven by Lieber, Willy’s changes of mood stem from manic depression, causing him to experience changes in mood. “Everything I say there’s a twist of mockery on his face” (Miller 55 ). Willy’s consistent changes in mood triggered by his depression, therefore, his mental illness has had an emotional and physical toll on Biff.
Willy’s inability to be well liked and obtain a certain position in society caused him to feel a sense of hopelessness and disappointment. “I am fat I am very foolish to look at Linda….they laugh at me” (Miller 65 ). Explaining his position to his wife, she continues to remain in a state of denial, as Linda overlooks the chronic signs of depression, she chooses to be blind to her husband’s several attempts of committing suicide including the rubber pipe in the basement that Willy occasionally try’s to inhale. But this state of denial stems from her love for her husband. “No you can’t just come to see me, because I love him, he’s the dearest man in the world to me, and I won’t have anyone making him feel low or blue” (Miller 55). Willys depression causes Linda to be more cautious around her husband and she advises her kids to do the same, Willy’s fragile state effects his family drastically, but Linda continues to believe it’s a temporary phase that will eventually disappear. In the article “Depressions painful effects on friends and family” Dr. Muller states that “Its intangibility makes it particularly hard on friends and family who cannot see or feel the force behind the suffering. Some respond to the confusing nature of the disorder by denying its existence” (Muller 1). Depression causes family members to be oblivious to their loved ones condition because they don’t want to except the fact that there loved one is suffering. Though Linda try’s to persuade her sons to be more respectful toward there father, Biff is unable to contain himself. “I am not a leader of man Willy and neither are you. You are never anything but a hard working drummer who landed in the ash can like all the rest of them! (Miller 132). Biff is fed up with the lies his family lives by, he wants Willy to except him for who he is and wants Willy to face the fact that he is a phony and a failure. It is Willy’s depression that began this argument between Biff and Willy. Biff strives to get across to his father and wants him to accept reality. In the article “depression a family matter”, Hara Estroff Marano justifies that “The behaviors and mood of a depressed person affect the whole family. There’s the irritability, which sets off conflicts and derails family dynamics. The negative thought patterns, which become a prism of pessimism for everyone” (marano 1). This proofs that depression does affect the entire family and often causes out lashes amongst the members of the family. In this case Biff causes an argument to force Willy to accept reality.
Though mental depression can impact your family and loved ones. Many argue that it has a greater effect on the individual. Depression provokes mood swings, chronic fatigues, decrease and appetite, and insomnia. These symptoms are cause from changes in brain which takes control of your body. Depression increases your risk of a number of diseases this is due to the fact that depression takes over your immune system. These several aspects of depression can drastically change the individual and change their way of life. Therefore mental depression effects the victim more than it does there family. However these symptoms of depression not only take a toll on the victims but can effect family as well. “Depression is not just a medical matter. It’s a family one, too. The behaviors and mood of a depressed person affect the whole family” (Marano 1). This proofs that though mental depression has a dramatic effect on the individual; it also has a major effect on their family.
Willy’s personal dissatisfaction lead to his brutal death. His inability to comply that he was truly a phony and was living amongst a lie. Unable to overcome his depression and accept his failure of the American dream, Willy’s depression eventually got the best of him and lead him to commit suicide. Throughout the novel the several out bursts and in acceptance of one another stemmed from Willy’s depression. Willy’s family was drastically affected by his mental state, and are burdened by their inability to safe there father. Therefore mental depression can emotionally affect all members of a family.
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