Barack Obama made history by being elected President of the United States, twice. This is just one more example that the American Dream is without a doubt achievable. Its pursuit is not easy; it requires undeniable hard work, modesty and optimism. Armed with these characteristics, seekers of this lifestyle will undeniably succeed. Success, though, is an interesting concept, for it can entail many superficial qualities. Willy Loman, the tragic hero of the play Death of a Salesman, sees only the superficial qualities of this dream. He views success solely as likeability (linked with attractiveness), and wealth. Ignoring all methods to honorably achieve these, Arthur Miller demonstrates how Willy’s search for the superficial qualities of the
In Willy’s meeting with Howard, Willy tries to convince Howard to give him a job by bringing up his father, the former manager of Howard’s company. Willy says, “Your father- in 1928 I had a big year. I averaged a hundred and seventy dollars a week in commissions.” (p.62) Willy looks at the past hoping that it can help him in the present because Willy can not face reality. Willy is desperate to get his job back and even tries reminding Howard about his father, but the reality is that Willy lost his job. After Willy loses his job, he finds his old friend Charley. Charley offers Willy a job but Willy refuses to take it due to pride and jealousy during the past. Even though Charley’s offer could help Willy pay off his debts, Willy does not accept the job. Willy’s sees the American Dream as working up the ladder himself and when Willy confuses his past with the present, his strong emotions causes him to be unable to grasp the hardships of
As a salesman, Willy shows he perceives himself highly when talking to Linda about his job: “I’m the New England man. I’m vital in New England” (14). One can also see Willy’s inflated sense of self-worth when he talks to his children about his job: “They know me, boys, they know me up and down New England... I have friends. I can park my car in any street in New England, and the cops protect it like their own” (31). However, even though he is extremely confident about his value as a salesman to his family, the reality of Willy’s reputation at his job is almost completely opposite: “I’m fat. I’m very—foolish to look at... they do laugh at me” (37). Although he essentially brags to his family about his expertise in business, Willy acknowledges the reality that his career is much less successful than he expects it to be. In fact, the inner turmoil inside of Willy from his unrealistic expectation of himself of being a fantastic salesman leads Willy to become mentally unhealthy, and eventually results in Willy committing suicide when he believes that he doesn’t have any self-worth anymore. Willy’s previous inflated self-worth is demonstrated yet again at his funeral, when no one shows up even though Willy thought he had a lot of friends from his job: “Why didn’t anybody come...
In “Death of A Salesman,” Arthur Miller takes a view about the usually positive value people put on success. By examining Willy’s downfall, we can see Miller is arguing how the fallacy of success crafts the amiss dreams. Miller displays how the constant mania to maintain the image of success destroys the concept of American Dream for ordinary people like Willy.
An individual’s ability to successfully recognize the reality from illusions is significantly influenced by their understanding of themselves. Many choose to use self-perception to prevent themselves from the realization of living through self-deception. However, in Arthur Miller’s modern play, Death of a Salesman, Miller explores the relationship between self-deception and reality through the character development of Biff Loman. Initially, Biff’s perception of himself is tremendously influenced by his father, Willy Loman, who unknowingly, lives a life full of illusions. As a result, these illusions prompt Willy to set unrealistic expectations for Biff. However, as the play progresses, Biff realizes the impracticality of these expectations
Willy is like an impetuous youngster with high ideals and high hopes. Children always have high hopes for their
Over the past semester, we have studied many different works of literature. out of all the poems, stories, and plays, there are two works that stick out in my mind. These two works are Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Death of a Salesman is a play that takes place in the 1950s. The story is about a salesman named Willy Loman, and his family. At this point in his life, Willy is struggling to make ends meet. He is being underpaid to the point where he needs to ask his neighbor for money every week, he is struggling to keep his broken family together, he is trying to repair his broken relationship with his son Biff, and he is suffering from some form of dementia. Throughout the play, we get to see how Willy got to the position he is in, and how he tries to repair all of the broken aspects in his life. The Bell Jar is a novel that was published in Europe in 1963, and then in the United States in 1971. The book takes place in the Northeastern region of the Unities States in the 1950s. Esther Greenwood is a young woman who is spending her summer in New York for an internship. While Esther is narrating the novel, it becomes apparent that she is suffering from some form of mental illness, most likely to be schizophrenia. As her situation gets worse and worse, she makes multiple suicide attempts until she is put in an asylum. Readers are then left with the question, “Will Esther be okay in the end?” For this essay, I will be
Willy's attitude is a dangerous thing to himself and his family because his constant bragging gives his family and himself a false sense of who he is. Willy thinks that if you have money then you will be well-liked. To Willy, being well-liked is everything. In his way of thought people without money are not well-liked and if you are not well-liked then you are
Death of a Salesman unwinds post-war America. After the war, prosperity has increased. The 1950s, were still a time where men not only provided for their families, but to also supplied the luxuries that came along with working class men. Willy Loman bought into the idea of being glorified and worshipped. He lived for the positive preservation of his family name. Willy Loman’s downfall was trying to be “The Man” and not “A Man”.
While Biff is in some ways desperate to impress his father, he is also conscious about the fact that Willy has failed his attempt to be successful in his career. He considers his dad’s dreams materialistic and unreachable. As a matter of fact, in the Requiem, even after his father’s death, Biff says: “He had the wrong dreams. All, all wrong.” Unlike Happy and Willy, Biff is self-aware and values facts; Willy never was a successful salesman and he never wanted to face the truth. On the other hand, Biff is conscious about his failures and the weaknesses of his personality. During an argument with his father, Biff admits that his dad made him “so arrogant as a boy” that now he just can’t handle taking
The relationship between Willy and Biff is complicated. Actually, Biff is everything for Willy. He doesn’t do well as a salesman anymore, so this situation makes him depressed but at least there is Biff. So Willy believes that Biff will reach the success and his dreams will become true. That makes him want Biff to take some responsibility, in other words this is a big pressure on Biff. “How can he find himself on a farm? Is that a life? A farmhand? In the beginning, when he was young, I thought, well, a young man, it’s good for him to tramp around, take a lot of different jobs. But it’s more than ten years now and he has yet to make thirty-five dollars a week!” says Willy and then Linda says “He is finding himself Willy.” Then Willy answers again “Not finding yourself at the age of thirty-four is a disgrace!” This shows how Willy mad at him because he thinks they couldn’t reach their dreams because of Biff. Willy says “Sure. Certain men just don’t get started till later in life. Like Thomas Edison, I think. Or B.F. Goodrich. One of them was deaf. I’ll put my money
In the play Death of a Salesman, Linda Loman serves as the family's destroyer. Linda realizes, throughout the play, that her family is caught up in a bunch of lies. Linda is the only person that can fix the problem and she doesn't.
In Death of a Salesman, a play written by Arthur Miller, Miller reflects the theme that every man needs to be honest with him self and act in accordance with his nature by displaying success and failure in different lights. Miller embodies the theme through characters in the play by explaining how their success and failures in being true to themselves help shapes their fates. Strongest evidence of Miller’s theme is reflected in the characteristics of Biff Loman, Benard, and Willy Loman. Through out the play, these three characters never give way to other’s influence and what other’s view of being successful is.
Ever since Biff walked into the affair between Willy and “The Woman”, Biff hasn’t been able to speak and look at his father the same; this causes Willy to think that Biff hates him. Also, Willy could still be upset about how he may ruined Biff’s chance of going to summer school for his failing subject. From there, Biff could’ve gone to college and become more successful than his father. Willy becomes happier when Biff attempts to talk to Bill Oliver because he wants him to be the successful man that he could’ve been before.
In the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Willy is both sympathized with and looked down upon throughout the story. Willy is a very complex character with problems and faults that gain both sympathy and also turn the reader off to him. Willy Loman is both the protagonist and the antagonist, gaining sympathy from the reader only to lose it moments later.