Identity Crisis

How The Death of a Salesman uses the theme of
Identity Crisis
Willy Loman
Biff Loman
 The most mislead character
 He deceives himself about many
 Biff Loman is half deluded about
things, such as Biff and even
 He never realizes that he isn’t
really as awesome as he thinks
he is until the end of the play
 The reason for continuing his
idea to commit suicide might
come from realizing that he isn’t
all that great.
 “Willy: I can park my car in any
street in New England, and the
cops protect it like their own.”
himself, trying to believe his
father, but not being able to
Willy seems to have rubbed off
on him, as also seems to run
away from the truth and do
things that his father told him to
He realizes that he is wrong
earlier than Willy, and tries to
correct it
He seems to be the character
that knew the answer all along,
but was confused about it
“Biff: I know who I am, kid.”
Characters (continued)
Happy Loman
Linda Loman
 Happy also seems to be just as
 Linda is the most realistic
deluded as his father
 He never realizes that he was
lying to himself like Willy
and Biff do, though
 He does not realize who he
actually is
 “Happy: He fought it out
here, and this is where I’m
gonna win it for him.”
person in the whole of the
 She rarely lies to himself,
always trying to be realistic
 In the end of the play, Linda
seems to realize the truth, but
doesn’t want to believe it, or
might be confused
 “Linda: I can’t understand it.”
Key Scenes
 The Florida Idea: The scene where it is shown just how
wrong everyone is, as the all believe that that can be
 The Grave: This is where Biff and Linda realize that
they have been lying to themselves, and have their
identity crisis; this is also where it is shown that Happy
hasn’t learned from Willy’s mistake.
Relation to Today’s World
The Audience Reaction
 Identity crisis still occurs
Since the audience might relate
to an identity crisis easier than
something that doesn’t relate to
today’s world (or might know it
personally) they should feel:
 Sympathy
 Frustration
 Empathy
 It can affect people in almost
the exact same way
 People may do the same
things as Willy when they
suffer from it
 Often, a whole family might
be affected by it
What Arthur Miller is trying to say
 Someone can’t be successful until they know who they
 It isn’t easy to overcome a crisis as you think
 Identity crisis’s can cause much damage