So what happens when he doesn 't reach these goals? Is it Total disaster. Willy is rather insecure. He lies to his family in order to try and make himself feel better.“I realized what a ridiculous lie my whole life has been.” In his world of delusion, Willy is a huge successful salesman. He disguises his profound anxiety and self-doubt with extreme arrogance.
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.
In Willy’s mind success is linked to how well a person is liked. He exaggerates how well liked and respected he really is and tells his sons Biff and Happy in order for them to be truly successful they must first be well liked. Linda is an enabler and is codependent on Willy. She encourages him and participates in his delusions. Linda is unselfish and her life revolves around Willy and the boys.
Willy doesn't believe in hard work and honesty to achieve the highest respect but instead focuses on personal appearance and social judgement. "He worries that people do not like him, admitting that people seem to respect Charlie which talks less, but Linda cheers him up, insisting that he will be fine." (Arthur miller) Willy's view of how to achieve the dream is a flawed one and he doesn't want to admit one bit of it. Willy plays his sons as to be the greatest and the worst failures in life sometimes. "Willy boasts that his sons will achieve more than Bernard becuase they are more attractive and bet... ... middle of paper ... ... in Modern Drama,” where he finds all great drama to be concerned with one big problem: “How may a man make the outside world a home?” What does he need to do, to change himself or in the external world, if he is to find the “the safety, the surroundings of love, the ease of the soul, the sense of identity and honor which, evidently, all men have connected in their memories with the idea of family?” (Jacobson) "Willy’s failure is our failure, for we are also involved in the cult of success, and we, too, measure men by occupational attainment rather than by some sympathetic calculus of the whole human being.
Nowadays, people are concentrating more and more on good looks and likeability because it gives them confidence, and often, these traits come with money and power. In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller portrays the life of a salesman, Willy, who values the superficial quality of likeability and attractiveness over learning. He is obsessed with the idea of being well-liked which ultimately takes him nowhere. His son unfortunately follows that principle and ends up with an unhappy life. Many events that happen in this play reflect on a principle that being popular is not the only thing one needs to have in order to gain respect and be successful in life.
Even though we later realize the err in Willy’s ideology, his initial instincts to teach his son success held no faults. Willy’s hopes and goals were pure (Onger 154). On the other hand, Willy’s excessive need to promote vanity and unfulfilling popularity, sets the stage for Biff’s eventual letdown. Willy provides Biff with an ego because of the high praise given to Biff that makes him conceited. Such great praise prompts Biff’s pride of himself and his family, which leads Biff to feel contentment and fulfillment in his younger years before his dreams come to an end.
In the play Death of a Salesman, author Arthur Miller illustrates the insignificance of a respectable reputation in society and the confining nature of failure through protagonists Willy Loman and Charley. Willy’s self-consciousness and naivety influence him to strive for an excellent image in society to help him succeed. Following this method for success, Willy fails as a salesman because he neglects focusing on the purpose of his job, selling. Furthermore, Willy’s neighbor, Charley, thrives as a businessman because of his confidence and maturity. These valued characteristics help him to realize working hard leads to accomplishments.
Biff, on the other hand, had it worse because his father sold him lies about his importance in the business industry, which forced Biff to admire Willy and strive to be like him one day. Willy’s consistent stroking of Biff’s ego misled Biff into thinking that he could get away with anything simply because he was “popular” and “well-liked”. However, when Biff accidentally stumbles upon his father’s adultery, his world crashes in on itself as he loses his sense of identity. He quotes, “I realized what a ridiculous lie my whole life has been” (Act II). Willy wasn’t much better with his “friends”.
Willy is jealous of Charley’s wealth, yet he tries to help him out by offering him a job and giving him loans every week. Charlie is more realistic about the success and that it comes with hard work. He doesn’t like Willy because their views on success and how to gain them are different. That is shown between how they teach their son’s, as Charley wants his son, Bernard, to be smart in order to be successful. Unlike Willy wanting Biff to be charismatic to get through life and have more opportunities (Miller Act
Even though he is a common man he fails to live up to the standards of being a tragic hero because he never accepts nor admits to his own errors. He, therefore, loses his dignity. One of his biggest errors is his failure of be a good father. Willy Loman’s character is capable of making errors. He believes he is a very successful salesman and well liked.