Press "Enter" to skip to content

A Comparison of Willy Loman of Death of a Salesman

and and Torvald Helmer of A Doll’s House comparison compare contrast essaysThe Characters of Willy Loman from Death of A Salesman and Torvald Helmer of A Doll’s House



In the stories “Death of A Salesman,” and “A Doll’s House,” there are many similarities. I went on to pick one character from each story whom’s similarity interested me the most. The characters I picked were Willy Loman from “Death of A Salesman,” and Torvald Helmer of “A Doll’s House.” I picked these characters because of their motivation to make it to become successful.


Willy Loman, a sixty-year-old traveling salesman, is having trouble lately because he can’t seem to keep his mind on the present. He keeps drifting back and forth between reality and memory, looking for exactly where his life went wrong. Having been demoted to a strictly commissions salesman, as he was in the beginning of his career, Willy begins to wonder what missed opportunity or wrong turn led his life to this dismal existence.


Torvald Helmer is businessman who has recently been promoted to the position of Manager of the Savings Bank. A scrupulous man, Torvald lives his life according to society’s norms both professionally and personally who feels reputation plays a big part in his success. Both stories are about a climb for success that leads to betrayal. The story “Death of A Salesman,” comes with the symbolic meaning of the death of an “American Dream,” or the ridding of illusion as it applies to the American Dream. The story “A Doll’s House” the title reflects the main character’s life and how she was treated like treasure such as a doll.


Both Willy and Torvald lives are similar to the fact that they are both trying to provide for their families, but in the end they discover a great loss. Willy Loman a salesman and a firm believer in the “American Dream,” had the notion that any man can rise from humble beginnings to greatness. Willy Loman motivation to become successful was he felt that he believes success comes from being well liked not worrying about qualifications and being popular you well always come out on top.


Willy is a Multifaceted character who portrayed a deep problem with sociological and psychological causes and done so with disturbing reality. Willy also starts to lie on the amount of sales that he is making whenever his wife asks him about his sales. Torvald on the other hand pushes his limits to get what he wants to become a success. Torvald pushes the hand by laying off a friend who he felt was not respecting him by calling him on a first name basis.


Both Willy and Torvald had money issues, which was another similarity for both men. Willy Loman’s money issues were that he had gotten fired; he couldn’t pay his mortgage and provide for his family to me he was just a failure at everything he did. I felt that Willy Loman had a little existence of his failure because he said, “After all highways, and the trains, and the appointments, you end up worth more dead then alive” (Miller Pg 1924). This statement is a sad reflection on the state of mind that Willy is in due to the unfortunate combination of his ideals and the change, which has occurred, in his society. Torvald’s money issue was that his wife has a spending problem and he was trying to handle his wife spending issue. Torvald also felt that there’s something constrained, something ugly even, about a home that’s founded on borrowing and debt. Torvald, however, worries about his economic problems in the past and are not in the clear as yet. He speaks down on frivolous methods of spending money and planning.


Betrayal was a main concern in both stories. Willy from betrayed his family by having an affair and lying about his job situation. In another sense Willy himself got a piece of betrayal from his boss Howard. I quote “You can’t eat the orange and throw the peel away. A