In Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman’s warped view of the American Dream caused tragedy in his family because he stressed the importance of popularity over hard work and risk-taking over perserverence. *Willy grew up believing that being "well-liked" was important to becoming a success. He believed that being well-liked could help you charm teachers and open doors in business. *He is proud that the neighborhood boys flock around Biff and respond to Biff’s athletic abilities, and in the same breath scoffs at the nerdy Bernard, who is too focused on school and his studies to be popular. Even though Biff turns out to be a failure as an adult, Willy holds on to the hopes that a business man who Biff met years ago will offer him a terrific job if Biff can be his old likeable self and recapture the confidence and grace he had as a teenager.
Willy is like an impetuous youngster with high ideals and high hopes. Children always have high hopes for their future. They all want to be astronauts or millionaires. Willy always believes he can achieve that kind of success. He never lets go of his wasted life. He dreams of being the man who does all of his business out of his house and dying a rich and successful man. Furthermore, Willy also dreams of moving to Alaska where he could work with his hands and be a real man. Biff and Happy follow in their father’s footsteps in their lofty dreams and unrealistic goals. Biff wastes his life being a thief and a loner; furthermore, Biff, along with happy try to conjure up a crazy idea of putting on a sporting goods exhibition. The problem with Willy is that he never grows up and deals with his obstacles.
Biff's Changing Perception in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman In Death of a Salesman, Biff's perception of society is altered through a chain of events throughout the play. His unrealistic expectations about how to succeed, learned from his father, eventually caused the destruction of his fantasies. His concept of an ideal society, where being liked is what is needed to succeed, is harshly changed to a reality where he must realize that hard work and devotion are necessary to prosper. Through a series of events, Biff gradually comes to a realization of what is necessary for success. First, we are shown a part of his childhood where Biff is told that "the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead."
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”(Tucker p.56) This quote by Winston Churchill relates to Biff, Willy’s oldest son, and how he gave up on life once he found out the truth and reality about his dad. Upon finding his father cheating on his mother, Biff decides not to take the summer school math class which would have allowed him to graduate high school and go to the University of Virginia. Biff was raised by his father to believe that success and wealth in life were two of the most important goals to achieve. Upon finding the truth of his father’s life, Biff realized his father had neither of these qualities and felt he had lived a life based on falsehoods. Biff left his home to pursue the life of a rancher, which caused him to loose contact with his father. The ties between the two began to unravel even more. Willy’s inability to accept that his son knew the truth about him cheating on his wife only deepens the distortion of his life’s reality. When Biff finally returns home upon his mother’s request, he is unsympathetic about the failing of his father’s mental health, which further worsens the relationship. Biff is the only member of the family that knows the truth behind who his father really is and is the only one to accept the fact that his father is trying to commit suicide.
This thought coupled with a conviction that the smallest unusual and most unpretentious can move to the best statures is the main structure the point of convergence of Willy's influence. Obviously, Willy's form of the American Dream never works out. In spite of his child's notoriety in secondary school, Biff grows up to be a stray and a farm hand. Willy's own particular profession vacillates as his deals capability level lines. When he tries to utilize "identity" to approach his supervisor for a raise, he gets terminated.
Willy wants his family and children to have as much as possible, as he thinks the more material things they have in their life that more people will like them and it will bring them happiness. “Never mind there is something I want you to have “This is what Willy said to his son after Biff was caught stealing a football; Instead of punishing him he gave him a punching bag for a gift. Whatever Willy could do or anything he could give his family to make them happy he would, but when Willy has reached an age that he can’t compete with the other traveling salesman his job was terminated. After being faced with the conflict of losing his job his life with his family starts to take a downfall. Without a job Willy cannot provide for the family and everything he says or does is a lie. He is very insecure about himself, lying to himself and his family makes him feel better. Willy tends to hide his anxiety with being cocky and arrogant. Instead of searching for another job he conti...
American Tragedy Aristotle defines tragedy in his respected piece Poetics and many other forms of literature. Many tragic heroes such as Oedipus Rex and Romeo and Juliet fit well into this mold of a tragic hero as defined by Aristotle. For example, they were flawed but well intentioned and their lives ended in a catastrophic death. Those plays, and many others in the genre, had all the elements of a tragedy: plot, character, thought, diction, melody, and spectacle. They were fantastic displays of misery that aroused pity and fear in the audience.
Sealed Fate Since Arthur Miller’s play “Death of a Salesman” first appeared on the Broadway stage in 1949, Willy Loman has become one of the most iconic and over-analyzed characters in American literature. In the play, Willy is an aging New York salesman who is facing both personal and professional problems. In fact, Miller indicates in Act I that Willy is suicidal when he proclaims “I have such strange thoughts, I have such strange thoughts,” as he explains to his wife, Linda, that he –more than once- nearly ran his car off the road (964). On the surface, his suicidal tendencies are due to his failure to earn enough money to support his family in his old age. Yet, as the play progresses, the audience comes to understand that there are deep-seated issues in Willy’s past and in his psychological makeup that have contributed to his current station in life.
Willy’s death was ironic due to all the of consequences that he faced each point of his life; however, he wanted to leave money behind by his $20,000 insurance policy for his family to prove he finally made success in life. After Willy death, Biff realized his true beliefs and changes his life’s path to the right direction. Happy on other hand, followed his father’s footsteps and aimed to become successful as a businessman. I believed that Willy’s character lead himself to his failures and miseries with his wife, his two sons, and his career. What Willy pictured in his mind of himself was not completed by his wrong ambition of being successful. “We’re free and clear. We’re free…. We’re free” (Death of the Salesman, Requiem. lines 66-67). Willy’s wife and sons were not a bit disappointed or saddened by the news of their father. Willy’s death defined a symbol of a new beginning for his family. Throughout my research I discovered all Willy wanted to be was a devoted husband, a father that his sons can be proud of, and a successful salesman; however Willy was unsuccessful in not completely to fulfill his dreams so his death brought him and his family a break from the
Plot, characterization, and dialogue are the elements of drama that I’ve chosen to analyze for Death of a Salesmen. Willy seems to be in conflict with himself and everyone else in his life. Conflict is what drives the plot and will be the main element of drama that’s analyzed in this essay. In Death of a Salesman Willy is the protagonist and his son Biff is the antagonist, he provokes Willy’s anger by not holding a steady job and measuring up to what his father feels he should be. The plot in Death of a Salesman is dialogue driven and the theme of the play is the death of Willy’s career and his inability to become successful in life. He also has hopes of Biff doing something more with his life other than working as a farmhand.