Willy Loman's Struggle Depicted in Characterization and Dispute and Gatsby's Challenges Shown in Symbolism and Flashbacks

Published: 2021-09-22 08:30:10
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Cicero once said “…the greater the difficulty, the greater the glory.” The more of a struggle something is, the bigger the reward will be. This is a false statement because the more challenging something is, the more you have to suffer through it. This doesn’t mean that the end result will always be rewarding. In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller uses characterization and conflict to show how the struggles in Willy’s life resulted in bad rather than good. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses flashbacks and symbolism to show how the challenges that came along with Gatsby’s past and him trying to be with Daisy did not end up rewarding at all in the end.
In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller characterizes Willy as a character who is going through many struggles in his life. Such as the turbulent relationship between him and his son Biff and how he struggles to earn a lot of money from his job as a salesman. Biff and Willy used to be very close and Willy even considered him to be his “golden boy”. But their relationship goes completely downhill when Biff goes to the hotel that Willy is staying at in Boston to tell him he flunked math. Biff catches Willy having an affair with another woman and becomes very upset. After that, he is no longer able to trust his father and is angry with him. Willy was also very upset by this. Willy’s job as a salesman has been very difficult for him. He does not make a sufficient amount of money to properly support his family and must borrow money from his neighbor, Charley every week to make it seem as though he made some money. Eventually, Willy gets fired from his job, which causes him to become even more upset. The only way Willy can deal with his struggles is to commit suicide. The challenges that he went through in his life did not do any good for him.Miller also uses conflict to show how Willy’s inner conflict did not have a big reward, but resulted in a tragic way. Willy is constantly having an inner struggle due to his problems with life and his flashbacks. They have caused him to have conflicting thoughts. Such as him deciding if he should kill himself or not and how he is always contradicting himself. From the beginning of the book, it is evident that Willy wants to end his life. When Biff and Happy propose the idea of the sporting equipment company they called “The Loman Brothers”, Willy no longer had suicidal thoughts and becomes much happier. He is happy up until Howard no longer wants him to work for him. He then begins to have suicidal thoughts once again. Willy is always contradicting himself. Such as when he calls Biff lazy and moments later claims that Biff is hardworking. It is clear from when he says those things that he is always having a conflict with himself. Willy did not gain anything from his difficulties throughout the book. He just ended up killing himself.
In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses flashbacks to show the difficulties that Gatsby has faced in the past. The flashbacks show that Gatsby originally grew up poor. He wanted to become rich and successful and ended up completely changing his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby in an attempt to cover up his past. However, this is not a good thing. Once Nick begins to get suspicious of Gatsby, it starts to become evident that he is trying to cover up his past.While some things remain true, others are lies. Like when he lied about going to Oxford. The truth is he only went for a short amount of time. He lies about his money being inherited from his family. He actually earned it all himself. Although it may seem that Gatsby did gain a lot from his new persona, it has actually caused even more difficulties than it solved.
F. Scott Fitzgerald also uses symbolism to show the struggle of Gatsby wanting to be with Daisy. Daisy is already married and has a child with another Tom. Gatsby disregards her existing relationship and wants to be in a relationship with her.The green light on Daisy’s dock in East Egg symbolises Gatsby’s dream of getting Daisy, although he can’t get her. Gatsby tries everything he can to impress her and try to get with her. He throws parties in hopes that Daisy will show up and makes them the way that he imagines she would like it. Gatsby does not realize that Daisy has put him in the past and has moved on, which is why his dream of being with Daisy is very difficult. The challenge of Gatsby trying to be with Daisy has not rewarded him, but rather killed him.
The more of a challenge something is, the better the reward will be. Difficult situations don’t always have good outcomes. Not every situation turns out to be successful. Arthur Miller uses characterization and conflict in Death of a Salesman to show this by how Willy has many struggles in life and have not had a good outcome, instead he committed suicide. F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby uses flashbacks and symbolism to show how Gatsby’s difficulties with his past and Daisy have caused him to be killed rather than anything good.

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