Monday, May 25, 2009

On Willy Loman

In the fascinating world of literary criticism, an anti-hero is any character in a dramatic work who lacks the noble qualities of a typical Romantic hero. Anti-heroes are often weak, unsuccessful, and sexually impotent. They're pathetic, and in being pathetic they endear themselves to their audience. Anti-heroes are Everyman. They're the guy who gets laid-off from his job at the mill, and wrestles for a week with telling his wife (who incidentally was cheating on him with his shop foreman). They're the guy in math class who sits next to the girl of his dreams, and never makes a move because he thinks she's out of his league (she later takes vows of celibacy and joins a convent because she thought no man would have her). They're the guy who spends twelve hours on the water, changes tippet and fly dozens of times, watches his partner catch one fish right after another, and when the day finally ends he goes fishless but not before falling in the river twice.
I am Everyman.

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