This idea of likability filters throughout all of the other aspects of Mr. Loman’s life and as he grows older he fails to understand that he is living a lie. The illusion of self worth, through being liked, affects everything in Willy’s life from his work to the dysfunction of his family, and is the fueled by his wavering hope in the American dream. Early on in the play the notion of likability is shown through Willy’s ranting when he returns home from a business trip. Biff has come home from being out west and his father believes that he is failure. Willy is unafraid to let his disappointment be heard to let Biff know he is not fond him at the moment, “Not finding yourself at the age of thirty-four is a disgrace” (Miller, 2330).
She is often trying to point out his accomplishments, but, he turns a blind eye. Happy, Willy's youngest son is truly a mess. He follows in his father's footsteps into the business world, where he is admittedly unhappy, yet continues because it is what is expected of him. He, like Willy believes that success is the measure of a man. He says "I gotta show some of those pompous, self important executives over there that Hap Loman can make the grade" (p 250).
His boss was looking to fire him for a long time. His whole life, he has had the wrong idea. “Success doesn’t come from just luck, popularity, or personality. All throughout the Death of a Salesman, Loman tells his two sons, Biff and Happy, that the key to success in life is to be “well liked” and that all you need is “a smile and a shoeshine.” (Brett) However, Willy completely ignored his true calling of working with his hands, to become a business man. He was so infatuated with the American Dream, he didn’t realize that he wasn’t a good Salesman, and would have succeeded as ... ... middle of paper ... ...ity to indulge in a world that doesn’t exist.
He constantly reminds them, “the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead” (Miller 67). This is also ironic because Willy is the man who creates personal interest in the business world, but when everyone passes away he is left with nothing but the past to remember. This false reality that Willy creates for Biff brings on the conflicts between the father and son duo due to the fact that Biff fails as a result of the way he was raised. So by the time Biff goes to interview for his first job he thinks that his success will come with no effort
Willy Loman becomes incredibly involved in work-related matters, instead of the happiness surrounding his family life. He discourages Biff to take his own path, and instead, nearly forces him to become a salesman, in hopes that Biff will be more successful than he turned out to be. Willy tells Biff that his dreams will “cut down (his) life…!” Willy cannot simply hope for Biff and Happy to attain satisfaction in life, which is the element that Willy misses. He is so consumed by the idea of success that he had not once stopped to reflect on being a good father or loving his wife. Having an affair was one of his main problems-he could not put enough love into his family, so he put it anywhere else he could.
Jing Mei and Biff both struggle with the expectations set forth by their parents. Although parents usually set expectations because they want the best for their children, these high hopes often backfire. In Death of a Salesman, Biff and Happy’s father, Willy sees success as being well liked by others and a rich businessman. He is distraught when his oldest son, Biff, does not reach this kind of success by the age of 32 because he is not interested in the same lifestyle. Biff explains his dislike to his brother, saying, “to devote your whole life to keeping stock, or making phone calls, or selling or buying.
Biff came back home this spring, because he didn't know what he was doing with his life. Willy has mood swings and sometimes thinks very highly of Biff sometimes but other times he hates him. The day he came home Willy yelled at him, and because Biff admires his dad, he was depressed. He later reveals to Happy, after their double date, that all he wants is to work on a farm, without a shirt, doing manual labor. He wants Happy to come out west with him, to open a ranch, but Happy won't.
Happy seemingly cares little for his father as an adult, as is obvious when he cho... ... middle of paper ... ...ed: each one layered on deep love and faith; lies and hurt. Willy gambles everything he has- and more- on Biff, even though he seems to hate his son at times. This is most likely because Willy knew Biff knew his dirty little secret, and could not stand to think that his actions may have harmed his child’s balance. Yet it is ironic that Willy Loman’s legacy, based on the insurance money- is not used by the son he loved best, but by the one who always came in second. It leaves the audience wondering if Happy loved his father more than the worshipped Biff, or if Biff loved his father so much he could not stand to touch the money, knowing that his father had killed himself solely for his benefit.
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.
Death of a Salesman is a play by Arthur Miller that follows the dying days of Willy Loman. Willy is a salesman who is not very at selling whatever he is selling so he takes the easy way out and goes to his neighbor, Charley, who has worked very hard for his money. Willy thinks that Charley and his son Bernard are nerdy and that they are not successful. Success to Willy is all about looks, which is why his son Biff grew up with the idea that as long as you are well liked than you will be successful. Willy faces the conscious battle between what he wants his sons to see and what he wants to keep personal.