“Bernard can get the best marks in school, y’understand…Because the men who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want” (1246). Willy discredits Bernard learning abilities and puts the popularity matters above everything else which is ironic because Bernard hard work pays off as a successful business when Biff is going nowhere with the popularity he has in high school. This quote further emphasizes Willy only interest is popularity and ... ... middle of paper ... ...to success and fame. Throughout the play, many events show Willy appreciation to traits such as good looking and popularity.
Throughout life people set goals for themselves and if they reach them or not is how they determine themselves to be a success or a failure. In the play Death Of a Salesman, Willy the main character in order to see himself as success embellishes his accomplishments. These embellishments of the truth make Willy think he is better than he his. Throughout Willy’s life he tries to be as successful as his idols; however in his pursuit to do so he fails not only as a worker but also as a role model to his boys. Throughout the play, Willy is in search of the ever-elusive dream of being successful.
Willy tells his children that Bernard might get the best grades in school, but they will certainly have more success than he will as they are “[…] built like Adonis’s” (Miller 34). Willy assumes that it is necessary to be attractive to become successful. Additionally, he says that it is “[…] the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead” (Miller 34). Moreover, Willy states that “it’s not what you say; it’s how you say it – because personality always wins the day” (Miller 70). Willy believes that if he wants to become a successful businessperson, he has to impress people with his appearance and with his looks; he has to seduce his customers with his personality and his charm.
A majority of individuals desire love, compassion, and a family. On the other hand, there are those concerned with self-image, material items, and the fact that money can indeed buy true happiness. In Arthur Miller's play DEATH OF A SALESMAN [published by Ted Buchholz (1993)]--the story of a sixty-three year old man named Willy Loman striving to achieve the "American Dream" and his family who suffer as a cause--contains many examples of trying to achieve material success. Willy's ultimate dream concerns following in his brother Ben's footsteps and rising to be a successful salesman. Willy Loman wanted success so badly that he lost a realistic sense of himself.
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”.
Yet there are many facets to his personality that contribute to the state he and the family are in during the play. His upbringing of the boys is one major issue, he raised them with the notion that if one is well-liked, he need not worry about qualifications, he believed that if his boys were popular they would come out on top. Sadly, he doesn't realize that the only way an ordinary person can get rich is through work (represented by Bernard) or through luck and good timing (Ben), and Willy missed the boat when it came to ... ... middle of paper ... ... Willy says to Charlie: "Funny you know? After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive.3" This statement is a sad reflection on the state of mind that Willy is in due the unfortunate combination of his ideals and the change which has occurred in his society. Willy is a multi-faceted character which Miller has portrayed a deep problem with sociological and psychological causes and done so with disturbing reality.
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.
Willy can be portrayed as a tragic hero due to his endless attempts at becoming rich and well-liked to accomplish his American Dream, which eventually leads to his tragic suicidal death. Willy’s American Dream Fantasy of being well liked is brought about by his brother’s lifestyle of wealth and popularity, which he intends to copy. However, he is unable to become well liked in his community or job. On the contrary to this failure, Willy still believes or at least portrays himself to be well liked, such as when he says, “[o]h, I’ll knock ‘em dead next week. I’ll go to Hartford.
In the business of sales there is room to either fail or succeed. Willy likes to think that if he's just a nice guy he can be the best salesman ever. He continuously lies to himself, as well as his family, about his status in the business world (Miller, 49). He believes that he's on the verge of success and it will come to him soon if he keeps working hard (Miller, 84). But in reality, the only kind of financial success is that of his brother Ben.
Willy was wrong. Social class is a major factor in Death of a Salesman. Willy is a salesman. Willy believes that success comes from being well liked and popular and has tried desperately to instill his notions to his two boys Happy and Biff, Willy's biggest aspirations in life. His wife Linda is extremely supportive and is Willy's only connection to reality.