What is real is all around us. It resides in the soft touch of light that separates the clouds from sky surrounding it, or in the muddled sounds of coffee cups clinking and low voices whispering, or even in the thoughts we think and the emotions we feel. The most important task every individual is faced with is discerning the universal truth from the truth he convinces himself to believe in. For one Willy Loman, he found his reality in the dream he dreamt: his American dream.
To Arthur Miller’s Willy, a man is measured against his success and his reputation. In other words, a salesman like himself is successful if at the end of his life, he is well liked and only has to make some calls to make a sale. While the character Miller depicts seems fairly far-fetched, his motivation is very similar to that which nearly every person has come across: am I well liked? In order to determine our lifestyle, we have to realize what’s important to us and what is real to us; oft times they are one and the same. As a Father, Willy found his success in the success of his lineage, and when that failed him, he withdrew from the world. As a salesman, Willy found his success in the reputation he earned, and when that failed him as well, he withdrew from everyone around him. In the end, what caused the death of this salesman was not the failure of his son or the failure of his reputation, but the failure he earned from ceasing to seek the truth, to seek what was real.
Like Willy, everyone comes to terms with the ultimate reality sooner or later. What matters is not that we were wrong, but that we move on and don’t let our failures tear us down.


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