Comparative Essay; Things Fall Apart

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Nicholas Zanon
Friday November 2nd, 2012
Mrs. Fisher
The Dynamic of Father-Son Relationships
The parent-child relationship plays a large role in various literary works. The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, both explore the dynamic of many parent-child relationships. Death of a Salesman regarded the troubling relationship that Willy Loman, an unsuccessful Salesman, had with his two children Biff and Happy. Similarly, in Things Fall Apart it described the life of a man named Okonkwo who had much controversy when it came to his relationship with his two sons Nwoye and Ikemefuna. In these two works, the relationship between father and son plays a large role in the plot of …show more content…

Throughout this work as Willy is determined to make Biff successful he continually gave contradicting advice and gave Biff the false idea of what success is. Willy always focused on Biff’s well being and wanted success for him in the business world. Willy gave his family the idea that he was really successful as a salesman but in reality he was not. Willy’s idea of success consisted of being well liked and well known. “I’ll show you all the towns. America is full of beautiful towns and fine, upstanding people. And they know me, boys, they know me up and down New England” (19). Willy always pushed Biff to conquer the dream that he did not. Biff had continuously shown minimal interest in Willy’s idea of success. Biff saw success, as being on a farm working with his shirt off, not stuck at a desk all day. He grew tired of Willy’s ongoing determination to make him successful. “Will you take that phony dream and burn it before something happens? I’ll go in the morning. Put him --- put him to bed” (106). As Willy’s determination started to control the relationship between him and Biff, Biff got tired of hearing the same “American Dream” which he knew was not truthful. After stating that the dream was a waste of time Biff decided to leave his father. Willy’s determination to make Biff successful contributed to the failure of this father son relationship.
Willy always tried to control his family and to show he was a successful figure to his

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