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Death of a Salesman is a story about Willy Loman and his family. The story is revealed through Willy's illusions, which could make it possible that this is not how the events may have happened because we see it through his mind. Willy Loman is a salesman who has lost his job and is on commission.
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Every week, he borrows money - fifty dollars per week from Charley, his next-door neighbor - and gives it to his wife to show that he has a job. Willy always wanted to be a successful man that he was not so he is really frustrated by it. He is not able to accept changes nor is he able to face reality. He always wants his sons to be successful because he was not. He has tried committing suicide many times due to his depression. He also has an affair with a woman when he went to business trips. Linda knows his problems but she letsit go because she thinks it willl only make it worst. At the end Willy commits suicide, dies in an accident so Biff will get his insurance money, start a business, and be successful.
Willy Loman is an elderly salesman lost in false hopes and illusions. The sales firm he works for no longer pays him salary. Working on straight commission, he cannot bring home enough money to pay his bills. After thirty-four years with the firm, they have spent his energy and discarded him. His sons Happy and Biff have failed but Willy does not want to believe it. He still thinks they are great and does not understand why they are failures. As he has grown older, he has trouble distinguishing between the past and present, between illusion and reality, and is often lost in flashbacks. Willy has had an affair with a woman he meets on business trips and once caught by Biff. After that Biff does not respect his father and do not get along with him.
Linda is Willy's wife and is the arbiter of peace in the family. She is always trying to stand between Willy and her sons to ease he tension. She is protective of him. She knows that Willy is tired and is a man at the end of his rope, at the end of his life, and as he puts it, "ringing up a zero." She wants him to be happy even when the reality of the situation is bad. Linda knows that Willy has been trying to commit suicide, but does not intervene because she does not want to embarrass him. She lets it continue because she is not one to cause trouble.
Biff Loman is Willy's older son and is the conflict between the two that the story of the ply revolves around. Biff was a star football player in high school, with scholarships to two major universities. He failed math his senior year, was not allowed to graduate, he was going to make up the credit during summer but he caught Willy being unfaithful to Linda and the shock changed Biff's view of hi father. He than became a drifter and was lost for fifteen years.
Herold, Happy, Loman is Willy's youngest son. He lives in an apartment in New York, and during the play is staying at his parent's house to visit. Hap is of low moral character; constantly with another woman, trying to find his way in life, even though he is confident he is on the right track. He has always been the second and tries to be noticed by his parents by showing off. He tries to be on Willy's good side and keep him happy, even if it means perpetuating the lies and illusions that Willy lives in.
Biff is the antagonist to Willy Loman since Biff does not respect his father. He also is not a successful businessman Willy wanted him to be. Somewhere along the road biff became Willy's enemy, after Biff figured out that his father is having an affair with a woman while on business trips. After that, he started disrespecting his father and always made choice against him. Arthur Miler uses the theme myth vs. reality to reveal the plot. The author uses reality to tell the story but uses myth to explain the characters' situation and why their relationships are the way they are. For example, in the reality we see that Biff does not like hiss father but we do not know why. Yet, through the myth we know that Biff disrespects him due to his father's unfaithfulness to his mother.