The Loman’s complicated views of success make it hard to achieve happiness: Willy and Happy are focused on Willy’s dream of money and popularity, while Biff is willing to tell the truth, and admit that being a salesman is not the right job for any of them. Willy’s idea that success comes from popularity and wealth is something he just can’t achieve, and he has been lying to himself for so long that he has become delusional. Willy’s dreams of success are inspired by the life of his deceased brother Ben who quickly became a very wealthy man in life. Ben being his hero, bringing Willy to build his own twisted definition to success that is closely related to the classic “American dream”. To Willy, success means wealth, a happy family, big house, popularity, and to be praised.
His brother’s influence deluded him into believing that being “well-liked” and “personally attractive” are all it takes to acquire the American Dream, not hard work and innovation. As a result, Willy sets unrealistic goals for himself. He emphasizes his image and the need for material success, as seen when he complains to Linda about the out-of-date brand of their refrigerator. The ideas of appearance and materialism corrupting the American Dream parallel some themes of The Great Gatsby. After years of chasing the wrong dream, Willy refused to admit his failure, spiraling his mentality downward as he struggles to differentiate between his dream and reality.
He thus reinstates that Willy's dream is realistic and attainable. Biff on the other hand, has a firm grasp on reality, and chooses not to make the same mistakes his father made: "He had the wrong dreams. All, all, wrong. "(p.138).The contrast between Happy and Biff definitely re-emphasises an ongoing gap between reality and illusion throughout the entire play, and brings about a better understanding of the depth of Willy Loman's tragic flaw. Hence, this strive for success as defined by the American dream has only room for a few men.
You know, the trouble is, Linda, people don’t seem to talk to me.” In this scene Willy is saying that he is very well liked but then when questioned about the people in Hartford Willie admits that they just pass by him like he is not there. This scene proves Willy’s delusion to himself by the way he says people like him but admits they don’t talk to him. He is too caught up in the idea of being successful to realize that he isn’t that successful. Willy’s intentions are right but his delusion personality takes control over his actions. He sets his intentions so high that he’s setting himself up to fail.
Although, his narcissism exhibits the common issue with American capitalism-it leads to greediness, unhappiness, and anger. This yearning for success can also cause an obsession with appearance and the self, which is a main focus in Willy Loman’s life. He says that to get somewhere, it is good to be “built like (an) Adonis,” which he tells his sons. At one point in his life, he felt he never had to ask for anything, and that when he walked in a room, he got what he wanted because “‘Willy Loman is here!’” Eventually, Willy ages and lacks the flair that he once had, and is left with unimpressive salesman skills. Due to America’s obsession with appearance, old-age is a plague to American society.
Willy Loman is the cause of his own misfortune Many characters in literature are the cause of their own misfortune. In the play Death of a Salesman by author Miller, Willy Loman is responsible for his misfortune as well as the misfortune of his two sons Happy and Biff. Willy creates his own small world in which he is the boss, everything goes around him, nothing will change and nothing will go wrong. But by thinking this way Willy causes his own misfortune. Willy brags to his boys that he is well liked, that he is a 'big man';, but in reality he is not.
At times, Willy even believes these lies himself. At one point in the play, Willy tells his family of how well-liked he is in all of his towns and how vital he is to New England. Later, however, he tells Linda that no one remembers him and that the people laugh at him behind his back. As this demonstrates, Willy's need to feel well-liked also causes him to become intensely paranoid. When his son, Biff, for example, is trying to explain why he cannot become successful, Willy believes that Biff is just trying to spite him.
Throughout this play Willy believes that in order to be successful, it doesn’t just take hard work, but it takes a likeable personality, the ability to be popular and well known. Willy encourages this perception onto his sons Biff and Happy. However, throughout the play Willy realizes that the American Dream he was chasing wasn’t going to be achieved, which ultimately lead to his death. In the beginning of the play when Bernard notifies his Uncle Willy that Biff is failing math. Willy entirely disregards Bernard and only cares about Bi... ... middle of paper ... ...grasp the truth of his unaccomplished life and his failure as a father and a husband and a successful man.
Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman shows us how one man's blind faith in a misconception of the American Dream becomes an obsession of accomplishment that destroys his life and nearly that of his family. Miller's main character Willy Loman somehow comes to believe that success always comes to those who are well liked and good looking. His downfall is that he does not equate success with hard work and perseverance. This faulty thinking keeps him from achieving his goals of wealth and status. His boys Biff and Happy are taught the same faulty values and are destined to fail as well.
He cannot accept Biff not being the magnificent son that Willy hopes him to be one day. Willy’s interpretation of the ‘American Dream,’ being that the true reason for success and greatness is stemmed from a well-liked personality and popularity, is also something that he has a misconception about. Likewise, Willy is not able to find the same success in his older age as he did back in his prime. Willy Loman’s failure as a salesman and controversy with his family shows he wasn’t happy and wanted to end his life. Willy often sought his successful brother Ben’s advice and desperately tried to relive his happy and successful moments in his life through flashbacks with his sons and career.