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.
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.
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. Death of a Salesman is a stage play in the form of tragedy that focuses on the relationship between Willy and his son Biff. The main character is Willy Loman, a sixty-three year old salesman that feels his life is full of failure and missed opportunities to become successful. He often has hallucinations of past happier memories where he reminisces about those times.
His distorted perceptions of the American Dream ultimately ruined his life and the lives of his family. Sadly, Willy definitely failed as a father. He obviously favored his eldest son Biff over his youngest son Happy, and this constant neglect drove Happy to become more like his older brother as an adult in order to win his father’s approval. We can see this through his philandering behavior, something Biff was known for in high school, the golden years. 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.
He leads his sons to believe the same ludicrous keys to success, pointing them in the same direction of failure. Everyone but Willy sees fault in his judgement as “his old friends, the old buyers that loved him so and alwaysfound some order to hand him in a pinch -- they’re all dead, retired” (Miller 32). With these factors counting against him, Willy still has not realized his life is at a standstill, not moving at all and he’s failing. His entire life he’d depended on the help of other people. Although he wants his sons to live a successful life, he’s teaching them the wrong points of gaining that particular lifestyle.
For years, he traveled for his work many times that he never had the opportunity to truly get to know his own sons. As a result he did not love them as a father should, his love for his son, Biff, was based on his achievements as an athlete. And when Biff was not able to go to University of Virginina, Willy was so devastated that he no longer loved Biff how he once did before. He was disgusted that Biff had become a bum, Biff had different jobs working at farms. Willy wants Biff to be the successful man that he never was and feels that Biff will not achieve success in the occupation he has taken.
He also sees his son in his eyes go from a star football player to a lazy bum. When Willy looks back and sees this he thinks he has failed his son because to him Biff has no drive and self-urgency. Willy although in his delusion of life thinks he has lived the “American Dream” and succeed he has greatly mistaken. Though he does try very hard to do what in his mind is right. Even though his family might not be provided for after he is gone he has been able to give them an ok life.
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.
(Thesis). In the play Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller proves he is America’s social critic when he criticizes Willy’s relationship concerning his family, his lack of success in achieving his goals and his dreams along with his inner turmoil and personal collapse which result in suicide. In the onset of the play, Willy told Linda that you “work a lifetime to pay of a house. You finally own it, and there is nobody to live in it” (Cohn 56). This quote shows how Willy strives his whole life to make a home for his family and by the time he sees the realization of that one dream, his family has drifted apart and he is alone with his haunting thoughts and his ghosts.
Biff made his dreams in life very clear, but instead of supporting them and encouraging his son, Willy chose to shame his son for not choosing a career that would earn him a lot of money. Willy becomes very angry whenever Biff comes home to visit because he is reminded that his son does not share the same vision for the future that he does. When Biff comes home Willy lectures Linda about their son and says, “Biff Loman is lost. In the greatest country in the world a young man with such-personal attractiveness, gets lost” (16). Willy shows that he is very disappointed in the way that Biff has chosen to live his life, and he feels that Biff is still lost, even though Biff has stated that he is doing what makes him happy.