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”.
This turns sour however, after Biff discovers the father he idolizes was not all he had thought him to be. Afterward, familial dynamics are never the same, as Willy continues to hope that Biff will succeed, ignorant- perhaps purposely so- that his son is failing out of spite, knowing that all his father’s hopes are resting on his shoulders. Willy’s relationships with his two sons are tentative at best, but Happy and Biff are partly to blame for this downhill spiral- as their relationship is just as complex. In the play, “Death of a Salesman,” Willy Loman remembers scenes from years previous, particularly idyllic times when his two sons were still young and full of promise. Willy’s memories focus on Biff: Biff’s chances at success, Biff’s talents, Biff’s popularity.
Happy is affected differently than Biff because Happy never realizes that his father is a failure. Happy is always competing for his father’s attention but is never able to steal the spotlight away from Biff. Throughout the play Happy defends his father and never admits to himself that his father is the main reason for his and his brother’s failures in life. A downfall of the Loman boys is their father’s ideas of how to be successful in life. Willy builds up his sons so much that they end up failing.
Likewise, “The Death of the Salesman” challenges Willy’s perception of the American Dream. Throughout the play the dialogue and actions of the Willy character illustrate desperate pursuit of the American Dream. "Death of a Salesman" is a play about a husband and a father by the name Willy Lowman. Willy has spent his entire life as a relentless salesman but has not been successful as he perceives. 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.
In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller paints the relationship of Willy and his two sons, Biff and Happy, through the dreams of living a successful life but achieving that success in the wrong manner. He wants his kids to live a better life than he had to but he had no clue on how togain this success the correct way. This wrong teaching built a wedge in their relationship with neither being successful and their father never letting them hear the end of it. His high expectations deemed foolish with his many failures at life and even indulging in an affair, guiding his sons down the wrong path of life. Willy’s dreams of having a successful life in the future are lived through the ones of his children because he couldn’t find a way to achieve
The central tragedy in Death of a Salesman is exemplified by the central character and father figure Willy Loman. His weakness of personality, self-destructive pride and disillusioned vision of reality is what ultimately causes him to not realize until the very end the truth about his life. All his hopes for the future and his wishes he had in the past have not been fulfilled. So he tries to build up a kind of dream world in which his sons are popular and successful business-men. But it is just an illusion he lives in.
Through his death, Willy thinks he can achieve success and fulfill his dream. Arthur Miller provides us with a character who is both pathetic and tragic. Willy Loman spent his life chasing a false dream. His failure to live the "true" American Dream was what brought about his own downfall. ** Short Essay Two 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.
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.
As a teenager Biff idolized his father, but their relationship changed after Biff discovered that Willy was cheating on Linda. Biff realizes that Willy is not the man he presented himself to be, and as a result Biff is left without a role model. Because of this realization, Biff gives up on his dreams and drifts from one job to the next, never progressing in any aspect of his life. This causes conflict between Biff and Willy. Biff has failed in the business world and has accepted his failure as his own fault.
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