The Internal and External Conflicts of Willy Loman Essay

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Individuals explore their responses to conditions of internal and external conflicts throughout literature. Going in depth to a character allows the reader to better understand that character’s internal and external conflicts. Arthur Miller uses this technique in several of his plays, including Death of a Salesman. Miller portrays the character of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman through his internal and external conflicts. The internal conflict begins with Willy’s expectations for his sons and The Woman. Willy struggles throughout the play with having extremely high expectations for his sons, Happy and Biff. Happy and Willy get along well because they are most alike of the two sons. Happy has the same materialistic mindset as…show more content…
The reader can see this when The Woman says, “I’ll put you right through to the buyers,” (Miller 39). Thus, Willy has multiple expectations for his sons and The Woman. The internal conflict continues with Willy’s dreams. The beginning of the play tells us that it is about dreams (Eisinger 2). Willy dreams of the American dream and family dreams. Willy characterizes the American dream as success, which creates conflict within himself. Willy longs for the dream so much that he focuses solely on achieving this goal that he loses desire for anything less. Willy interprets his desire for success when he defines Dave Singleton:
And he was eighty-four years old and he’d drummed merchandise in thirty-one states. And old Dave he’d go up to his room, y’understand, put on his green velvet slippers – I’ll never forget – and pick up his phone and call the buyers, and without ever leaving his room at the age of eighty-four, he made his living. And when I saw that, I realized that selling was the greatest career a man could want. (Miller 81)
Dave Singleton is a model for Willy because he shows that a salesman can be remembered, loved, and helped in many different places in the country (Eisinger 4). The success of Dave is the American dream that Willy desires. The American dream of having everything one wants.
Because Willy wants this corrupt dream so much, he longs for his family to have the same dream. Happy does however,
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