Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller’s classic 1949 play, is a tragedy about the decline and fall of the American Dream. The play focuses on the relationship between father and son, Willy and Biff Loman.
The play begins with Willy’s 65th birthday. He is retired and no longer able to work. His health is failing and his memory is beginning to fade. He lives in a small apartment with his wife Linda. They have two grown sons, Biff and Happy.
Biff was once a star athlete and student, but he failed out of college and has been wandering around the country ever since. He is now back home, living in his parents’ attic. Biff is restless and unhappy. He has never been able to find a steady job or make a success of his life.
Happy is Willy’s other son. He is a successful businessman, but he is also selfish and manipulative. He is always trying to take advantage of his father and get what he can from him.
Willy Loman is a man who has always believed in the American Dream. He is a man who has always strived for success. But now, at the end of his life, he finds himself a failure. He has lost his job, his health is failing, and his family is falling apart.
The relationship between Willy and Biff is the central focus of the play. Willy is a man who has always put his faith in the American Dream. He has always believed that success comes from hard work and determination. But Biff is a man who has learned that life is not always fair. He has learned that sometimes people are just dealt a bad hand.
The relationship between Willy and Biff is a microcosm for the relationship between America and its citizens. Willy is a man who represents the ideal of the American Dream. Biff is a man who represents the reality of life in America.
The play ends with Willy’s suicide. He can no longer bear the weight of his failures. He can no longer face the prospect of living a life without the American Dream.
Family ties are frequently at the heart of a narrative in literature. The reader is able to piece together the story’s conflicts through a familys interactions with one another. Characters within a literary family play various parts in each other’s lives, which are generally people who are emotionally and physically linked in some manner. They can be brother or sister, mother or daughter, or father and son (son)
While Willy Loman is not the best father, he still tries to provide for his family and be emotionally supportive. However, his idea of success is skewed and this puts a lot of pressure on his sons. Biff in particular has a hard time living up to his fathers expectations. Wills obsession with being successful drove a wedge between him and Biff, which eventually led to their estrangement.
It is only when Willy is on his deathbed that he finally realizes that he wasnt the best father. All he wanted was for his sons to be successful like him, but in the end, that wasnt what they needed. They needed someone who would love them unconditionally and support them no matter what. Sadly, Willy wasnt able to be that for them.
Through the story of Willy and his sons, Arthur Miller is able to comment on father-son relationships and the pressure that society puts on fathers to be successful. He shows that sometimes fathers can be too obsessed with success and that this can damage their relationship with their children.
During most father-son relationships, the father wants to take on a more active role in his son’s life than his son thinks is appropriate. There are several reasons for this, and it may be seen in a variety of ways. Miller illustrates Willy Loman’s actions by giving an example of this behavior. When Biff comes home to relax, Willy feels inadequate because he believes that Biff will not succeed as much as he would have liked. Willy tries to intervene by getting Biff a job selling.
He can stay here with us. I’ll talk to Howard tomorrow. He’s a good guy, he’ll give Biff a job” (Miller 124). This is where the father-son relationship begins to unravel because now Biff has to deal with his father’s expectations and try to please him.
“We’ve got a truckload of money, and if we keep this up, he could be big in no time,” Biff exclaimed. “It’s like an apple falling from the tree; it’s going to have a long way down” (16). Willy is upset because his way is the correct approach. Partly owing to Willys persistence in Biffs life, things have gotten more complicated.
Working on the road selling items is considered the greatest job a guy can do by Willy (81). Biff believes that being outside working is the greatest job any male can have (22). When their two aspirations collide, Willy becomes frustrated since he feels that his path is the only right one.
When fathers and sons are not able to see eye to eye on major issues, it can put a strain on their relationship. In Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, the relationship between Willy Loman and his son Biff serves as an example of this. The reader gets a front row seat to watch as their relationship deteriorates over time.
This is largely due to the fact that they have different views of what the American dream is. While Willy sees it as working hard to make a lot of money, Biff believes that it is about having a job that you love and being happy with what you have. This generation gap is what sets up a father-son conflict which eventually tears them apart.
While Willy and Biff have different views of the American dream, they are both struggling to achieve it. Willy is struggling to make ends meet and support his family. Meanwhile, Biff is having trouble finding a job that he loves. The conflict between them comes to a head when Biff tries to talk to Willy about his problems.
Willy doesn’t want to listen to him and instead tries to push him into getting a job with his friend Bill Oliver. This only makes things worse and causes Biff to lash out at Willy. In the end, their relationship is damaged beyond repair and they go their separate ways.
Miller warns that if a parent becomes too involved in his or her son’s life, friction will result. There are many situations where a father favours one child over the other, resulting in social disharmony among the lesser-favored kid. In most circumstances, it is the eldest son who gets preferential treatment while the younger brother is overlooked.
Usually, the father is unaware of what’s going on. He becomes so caught up in his eldest son’s achievements that he may attempt to live through his sons’ experiences. Miller subtly demonstrates how Happy is overlooked by revealing how Willy values Biff’s ambitions.
Willy is a man who is unable to face reality. He lives in his own world where he is the successful man he always wanted to be. His sons are a reflection of himself and he wants them to be just as successful. When Biff fails to live up to his expectations, Willy becomes disappointed and withdraws his love from him. This causes a major rift between father and son.
It isnt until Biffs return home after being away for several years that Willy finally comes to terms with his sons failures. He realizes that Biff will never amount to anything more than a simple laborer. This revelation brings about a new level of respect between father and son. They are now able to communicate on a more equal level and their relationship is stronger for it.
Although Death of a Salesman is primarily about the father-son relationship, it also sheds light on the mother-son dynamic. Linda is a woman who has always put her husband and sons before herself. She has sacrificed her own happiness for their sake. This selfless act is one of the reasons why Willy loves her so much.
Even though Linda knows that Willy isnt perfect, she still stands by him through thick and thin. She knows hes a good man deep down and she believes in him even when no one else does. This unwavering support is what helps Willy get through his darkest moments.