Power of Success

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Power of Success The unflinching conflict of obtaining success is eloquently portrayed throughout Arthur Millers “Death of a Salesman”. In this modern tragedy, Miller successfully depicts the human condition in midst of denying failure. The play unfolds around a washed- up salesman named Willy Loman, whose obsession with reaching concrete evidence of success, creates unfortunate repercussions on his family, and himself. Willys conviction that a man must not only be like, but he must be well liked (Miller, 1250), along with his uninterrupted focus on prominence, reflects on his two sons, Biff and Happy, as he infuses them with values of social status as well as future success. Willy’s sense of self value depends on the response of…show more content…
The constant lack of ability in doing so causes Willy to search and establish the idea of successful characters in in his sons, Happy and Biff. Growing up, Biff was directed by Willy’s and his society’s measure of a person, which caused a differentiation of his character that eventually led him to consecutive trips back home to search for his identity. As a young boy, Biff held a high admiration for his father, and trusted in his guidance. Influenced by Willy’s prominent business trips, and his fabricated ideology of social status, Biff is convinced that being “great” will grant him certain allowances that could not be bestowed upon those who receive less fervent popular esteem (Jacobson, 51). This leads Biff to develop a fragile sense of identity, one that is built on vague perceptions of success. After Biff fails math and jeopardizes his football scholarship, his character is shattered, causing him to run towards his main guide – his father. Biff then finds Willy cheating on his mother with another woman. He now realizes that everything he has ever valued and idolized has been a fiction, and his already fragile sense of identity is lost. After he runs toward the outdoor life out west- a life that reflects his own desires and needs (Ribkoff, 51), he repeatedly returns home, experiencing a constant sense of inadequacy and inferiority in the open world. However gratifying his life of simple physicality on ranches in the west, he has
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