But, most specifically the isolation of Willy Loman. Each family member takes unlike routes in building barriers between them an Willy. As aforementioned, Linda does nothing, leaving Willy to his own devices; instincts that are severely hindered. Anger, follows Biff and Willy’s conversations, severing all ties between the two. Happy, to busy trying to impress his father, misses out on his father’s problems. Finally, self-isolation. Willy chose to refuse help, chose not to speak of it, and took his life because of
He would give his mistress brand new stockings, as a gift, while Linda would mend her old ones at home. When Willy would see this, an overwhelming state of realizing all he had done wrong would come over him, he was furious with himself and the amount of guilt brought upon him, which then turned to anger that was to be taken out on Linda. “I won’t have you mending stockings in this house! Now throw them out!” (Miller 26) The guilt from his infidelity caused him to further abuse Linda. Not only was Willy’s cheating affecting his relationship with his wife, but it was also hurting his children. When Willy’s son Biff, came to him for help, regarding a math credit, he saw Miss Francis in Willy’s room and realized that his father was having an affair. The perfect image of the Loman family was then shattered in Biff’s eyes. Biff insulted Willy, yelling, “You fake! You phony little fake! You fake!” (Miller 95) The perfect marriage that Biff believed his parents had, held enormous dishonesty. With his family falling apart, Willy’s disappointment grew. Willy was a family man who had so much pride in his children. He believed that his sons were outstanding scholars and athletes and would one day make excellent salesman. Like any parent he wanted them to achieve success so badly that even much after their high school careers he still found it necessary to defend and support their high school success (Miller 105) In reality Willy was building his kids up to be something
Biff said when realizing the type of house he grew up in. Everyone in the Loman household was unsatisfied, the family left unstable. The top of the causes for the problems in the Loman household lead to Willy. Growing up Willy never had a true support system. His father left him at a early age. And his brother went to Africa. With all this abandonment in life, Willy learns to live on the dependency of being well approved of by others, and following a dream he saw as the “American Dream”. This dream led Willy into more failure than it did success. Willy never knew when to look at reality or chase a dream. When it came to a point in life when he realized he could no longer achieve this American Dream, he tried to live it through his sons. He never held his kids accountable for their faults because they were “well liked” Willy sees how much people like you as an equivalence to a human's success in life. Linda once said, “I don’t say he’s a great man. Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He’s not the finest character that ever lived. But he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must be finally paid to such a person.” Willy filled all his actual doings in life, with dreams and visions of a successful him or of anything to make the pain of his actual life
Biff and his brother, Happy, overhear Willy talking to himself. Biff learns that Willy is usually talking to him (Biff) during these private reveries. Biff and Happy discuss women and the future. Both are dissatisfied with their jobs: Biff is discontent working for someone else, and Happy cannot be promoted until the merchandise manager dies. They contemplate buying a ranch and working together.
Willy foolishly pursues the wrong dream and constantly lives in an unreal world blinded from reality. Despite his dream Willy constantly attempts to live in an artificial world and claims “If old Wagner was alive I’d be in charge of New York by now” (Miller 14). As a result, Willy often ignores his troubles and denies any financial trouble when he says “business is bad, it’s murderous. But not for me of course” (Miller 51). Another false segment of Willy’s dream includes the success of his two sons Happy and Biff. Biff was a high school football star who never cared about academics and now that he needs a job says “screw the business world” (Miller 61). Ironically, Willy suggests that Biff go west an “be a carpenter, or a cowboy, enjoy yourself!”, an idea that perhaps Willy should have pursued. Constantly advising his boys of the importance of being well liked, Willy fails to stress academics as an important part of life (Miller 40). Furthermore, Willy dies an unexpected death that reveals important causes of the failure to achieve the American dream. At the funeral Linda cries “I made the last payment on the house today... and there’ll be nobody home” to say that she misses Willy but in essence his death freed the Lomans from debt and the hopes and expectations Willy placed on his family (Miller 139). Very few people attend
Willy Loman’s family and few friends are affected by his mental breakdowns brought on by his career and disappointment with Biff. In high school Biff was the star of the football team until he failed his mathematics course which led to Willy’s anger, frustration and disappointment towards Biff. His wife is especially concerned with Willy’s relationship with Biff, saying “There is no time for false pride, Willy. You go to your sons and you tell them that you’re tired. You’ve got two great boys, haven’t you?” (Miller 83). Willy, however, has other things on his mind. He is upset about the current industrial atmosphere. This is seen when he comments:
Walking into the kitchen, Happy notices his father pacing and muttering to himself, the story moving back to present time. Regret is shown by Willy as he mutters to himself about his brother Ben. Willy almost went to Alaska with Ben, but did not; however, Ben became very rich through his finding of a diamond mine. Their neighbor, introduced through Willy’s flashback, Charles, hears the commotion and walks into the house. While Charlie is still with him, Willy hallucinates his brother Ben. While talking to Charlie, Willy simultaneously talks to his
Biff has begun to develop an alternative view of his father and the lifestyle he leads. Gradually he begins to feel that something is fundamentally wrong with this way of thinking and way of living. He wonders if it’s not more important in life to spend time doing things that you find personally fulfilling rather than using all your energies to chase else’s dream or trying to earn someone else’s approval. Biff was imbued with all the same traits as his younger brother, he felt perhaps subconsciously that being good looking and well liked would be enough to get him through life but has learned that is not true. Biff Loman eventually realizes what a sham his life, his brother’s life, and his father’s life is. He confronts finally confronts Willy after discovering Willy’s intention to kill himself and declares that “You’re practically full of it! We all are! And I’m through with it!” (1512) Willy Loman is furious and he refuses to see what a house of cards his whole life is. He can’t bear the fact that his life does not fit the preconceived notions he had about it. Biff angrily tell him “Pop! I’m a dime a dozen, and so are you!” Willy has for so long nurtured the belief that he and his sons are somehow special, and immune, to the pressures of the world that this is unacceptable. After Willy’s death, Biff sadly reflects on how “He never knew who he was” (1516) but Happy vows to continue on the same
In addition to ruining Biff, Willy manages to manifest himself in his other son. Happy wasn't a huge football star; his charm was always overshadowed by that of his older brother. So, Happy tries desperately to get his father's attention. When Biff is the star athlete, Happy tries to draw attention to the fact that he's losing weight. When Biff is jobless, Happy points out that he is an assistant buyer. When Biff is unable to help the family, Happy claims that he will help out mom and dad. However, Willy either ignores Happy or scoffs at him. Even when visiting Willy's grave, Happy's attempts to appear successful, to appear likeable, go unnoticed. Happy is thus destined to continue in his quest for likeability, the very quest that drove his father crazy. The reason for this once again rests on Willy's shoulders; the anger the reader feels over this incident is once again transferred to Willy.
As the play progresses, one begins to feel sorry for Willy and his problem, but at the same time angry and frustrated with him for his foolish pride. With this trait, it prevented him from accepting a job from Charlie, something that could have saved his life. Also, it is with this false pride that has been sparking the family flame for years, the fact that the Loman name was well known and well-liked. The family lie that was amongst themselves is revealed during the climax of the play. One example is the way in which Willy led Biff to believe that he is a salesman for Oliver, which at the end left Biff disappointed. The reason for this estimation of the truth may be because of Willy’s idea that he has not raised Biff and Happy the right way.
Willy Loman is a troubled and misguided man - a salesman and a dreamer with an extreme preoccupation with his own definition of success. Willy feels that physical impact is greater than the elements of his self-defined success. However, it is apparent that Willy Loman is no successful man, even by the audience's standards. He is still a travelling salesman in his sixties with no stable location or occupation, but clings on to his dreams and ideals. He compares his sons with Bernard, using him as a gauge of success. Nonetheless, he stays in the belief that his sons are better than Bernard. Willy recollects the neighbourhood years ago, and reminisces working for Frank Wagner, although he was also in the same condition then as now. He feels that the older Wagner appreciated him more, yet it was himself who voted Howard in. Arthur Miller presents Willy as a man with great bravado but little energy left to support it. He is always tired and has dementia, contradicting himself in his conversations and showing some memory loss, living in his world of illusions and delusions. He argues with Biff, both men without knowing why. The two sons of Willy display the physical appearance of adulthood, but their talk and attitude displays immaturity. Billy finds that he is a failure because of his lack of `success', while Happy thinks he is unfulfilled because he lacks failure.
Willy is the aging salesman whose imagination is much larger than his sales ability. Willy's wife, Linda, stands by her husband even in his absence of realism. Biff and Happy follow in their father's fallacy of life. Willy's brother, Ben is the only member of the Loman family with the clear vision necessary to succeed. Charlie and his son Benard, on the other hand, enjoy better success in life compared
To begin with, Loman experiences two particular memories of his brother Ben that affect his present. In both moments, Ben is depicted as a successful man. Ben tells Willy’s boys that, “when I was seventeen I walked into jungle and when I was twenty-one I walked out. and by God I was rich!” It is evident that Willy admires and envies his brother’s prosperity and wealth. In Willy’s mind, he is defined by how much money he makes and how capable he is of providing for his family. The memory of his brother going to Africa leaves Willy feeling ashamed, regretful, and inadequate because of his brother’s subsequent financial success. His
Willy Loman has the ups and downs of someone suffering from bipolar disorder: one minute he is happy and proud- the next he is angry and swearing at his sons. Their relationships are obviously not easy ones. Willy always has the deeper devotion, adoration, and near-hero worship for his son Biff; the boy, likewise, has a great love for his father. Each brags on the other incessantly, thereby ignoring the other son- Happy- who constantly tries to brag on himself in order to make up the lack of anyone to do it for him. 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
Willy’s relationship with Biff and Happy also becomes strained throughout their lives. Since Biff was the older son and football star he made his father proud, and Happy was left without the praise that he needed and deserved, as he was always second best. Biff also was the one who caught his father having an affair with a woman in Boston, causing friction between himself and Willy. More importantly, Biff is extremely disturbed by his father's later behavior, including participating in imaginary conversations and reacting to his memories as though they were happening in the present. Willy's job also falls apart from the beginning of the play towards the end. Willy had been making enough money to support his family, but his unwillingness to learn new sales techniques or utilize modern technology resulted in lackluster sales and the loss of his job. Willy’s house had a mortgage until his death, implying that the family was not even secure in their own home. Finally, the family car, a symbol of pride within the Loman household, was destroyed when Willy committed suicide. This was the last example of Willy's destruction of all that was once important to him. Willy Loman, in this regard, follows Aristotle's suggestion that the tragic hero has "...a change of fortune... from prosperity to misfortune...." (Aristotle,1303)