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Deah Of A Salesman Essay Research Paper

Deah Of A Salesman Essay, Research Paper

Death of a Salesman

Willie Lowman is a character that most anyone can identify with. He has

two sides to his life; On one side he creates an image of being

successful, well liked, and bold. On the other side he feels old,

unsuccessful, defeated and disliked. He maintains the successful image

to comfort his wife and friends. This veil of success becomes thinner

and thinner until he lingers between fantasy and reality of the cruel

world, often changing back and forth in the course of a conversation.

The core of Willie^s slow painful demise into nothingness is based upon

his beliefs. Willie thinks that success is not what you know, but who

he knows and how well he is liked. These beliefs he instills in his

sons, who find themselves adrift and meaningless just like their

father. In addition Willie sees the world changing, and his own

inability to change with it, will seal his fate. He misses the open

land and the smell of flowers in the summer, the pollution and high

rise apartments add to Wil! lies dismal existence. An example of

Willies shift from fantasy to reality is during his conversation with

his wife about the Chevy. He thinks the car is fantastic, the best ever

built. Later he and his wife discuss some bills that were paid, and

when told about the bill to get the Chevy^s carburetor fixed, he says

that they ought to prohibit the manufacture of the car.

Willie Lowman is finding himself less and less capable. He dreams of

making it big and has visions of Uncle Ben who gives him advice on how

to get rich, but never the kind of advice Willie wants to hear. Willie

is concerned about his image. He is a great showman who can brag and

flaunt like the best of them, and as witness to the hard truth of his

failure he continues to weave fairy tales and live in fantasy. Willie

wants his sons to be better off and more successful than him, but he

has already corrupted them, and they too claim achievements well beyond

reality. Biff comes to the reality of his position in life in the

opening of the play. He knows he is not cut out for the business world.

Biff prefers to move back to Texas and work on a farm. Although he

realizes working on the farm won^t make him successful, he knows that

it^s his calling in life. Happy who is fairly stable and comfortable in

his work, prefers to continue with the charade, and the deception so as

long as it! makes life easier for him. Although his sons will not be

successful, I think Willie Lowman did the best he could. Willie is not

to blame for his sons disappointments, although he has delayed their

success by giving them false ideas about success.

The family situation is that of the standard dysfunctional family. The

mother is upset by her sons because they have no respect for Willie and

show no concern for his decline. Willie loves his wife, but often

mistreats her, cuts he off in mid conversation and belittles her. Biff

begins to hate his father because of the constant pressure to succeed,

along with his fathers adultery and abuse of his mother. However Biff

still cares very deeply for his father deep down inside. Willie^s

favorite son is Biff; however Biff is also a continual source of

disappointment for his father because of his inability to assert

himself in the business world. Happy is most like his father in the way

that he much prefers fantasy over reality. Happy is willing to continue

with pretending everything is all right so as long as it makes life

easier. The conflict is Willie versus nature. Nature being the

environment and Willies inability to change and conform to it^s dynamic

and changing nature. The characters in this play are easily understood

because of their similarity to most people who find themselves washed

up in this game called life. People watching the play can easily

identify with these characters who represent the average working class

family. Nobody wins in the end because it^s real life. The father kills

himself, hoping that the insurance money will send his family on their

way to success; and in actuality the insurance money from his death

will heal no wounds, or right any wrongs.