Willy Trapped in Large City: by his Own Dreams

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      The physical image that represents Willy’s predicament most aptly is that of being boxed in. Willy feels the need to do something with his hands, as he feels cramped and smothered by environmental forces.

      In the first scene itself, we see Willy in the environmental trap. He says that they are so boxed-in by bricks and windows that they cannot grow anything, there is not a breath of fresh air. The nostalgic remembering of lilac, peonies and wistaria represents the fact that Willy wants to revert to those good old days. Now he cannot grow anything despite his best efforts.

      In the next scene, we see Biff showing his love for working with his hands, with cement, somewhere in the open and living amongst mares and colts.

      Willy buys seeds to grow them in his yard. Willy wants to leave something for Biff. But when he realizes that he has nothing to leave, he sees that proper motivation to commit suicide.

      When Biff cries on Willy’s shoulders, Willy realizes that Biff loves him. So Willy conceives of an escape from his boxed-in condition. He has found something that he can leave for his sons. And his emancipation from the boxed-in position lies in his suicide, he imagines, and acts that way.

      Willy is a man who has been trapped by the large city and urban dreams. The only way out of this trap, this boxed-in conditions, is through his death. He commits suicide but the sacrifice that he makes is open to an inquiry. Are his sons worth the sacrifice Willy has made?

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