I am not a dime a dozen! I am Willy Loman, and you are Biff Loman!" this is perhaps the whole meaning of the american dream in both of their eyes. Biff views himself as just an average joe while willy sees himself as his own important individual and also views his son as that. If willy just let biff live his life as the average joe he viewed himself as biff would of had a complete life but now must live with the death of his father on his hands.
The potential for change to Biff Loman and The Lawyer lies in their experiences with the title characters of their respective pieces (Willy Loman and Bartleby), as well as changes in the environment in which they have grown accustom to. Willy inhibited Biff from being able to successfully change and become the person he wanted to be because Biff was guided by Willy’s impractical expectations. Though Biff does revere Willy’s values and ethics throughout his entire childhood, he catches his father having an affair, which causes him to realize he never desired nor was able to uphold Willy’s expectations. Only until Willy died was Biff truly free from his father’s expectations and able to pursue his passion. Unlike Biff, the Lawyer’s inhibitor of change was not a person, but rather his job and environment.
Willie Loman is an ordinary man who embodies traditional American values of success. He has reached the age where he can no longer compete successfully in his chosen career of a traveling salesman. Willie’s desire for the american dream, despite his lack of ability to be a successful salesman, sacrifices his chance at happiness. After facing the reality of his job termination he begins to assess the value of his past. Willie’s son, Biff, returns to visit his parents and Willie is reminded of his desire for his son to achieve traditional success.
They are forced into their own realities after life out of and in their homes go awry. The external force of having damaged familial bonds is too much for them. Willy Loman’s son Biff no longer believes in his father and does not look up to him like he did when he was younger. Biff say “I’m a dime a dozen, and so are you!” (II).
While Linda enabled him, Willy could not help himself too keep ruining the good opportunities he had and turning them into some factious reality. At Willy`s funeral Biff comes to the realization that his father had all the wrong dreams and visions of success. Willy`s only dream was the fake “American Dream” that people believe will happen overnight. Willy`s failed attempts and happiness bonded into one and played a part into him creating this false reality and persona that he was the best salesman and that he was well loved by everyone around him.
Act I opens in Willy Loman’s house in Brooklyn. Willy, a traveling salesman at 63 years of age, is exhausted after years of traveling. He has yet to reach a level of success that would allow him to stop traveling and afford the household bills that always seem to swallow his diminishing wages. The audience learns that Willy’s grown son, Biff, returned home to visit and come to know Willy’s character as he complains to his wife Linda about his disappointment in Biff’s failure to find a steady, serious job. Willy is tired, confused, and argumentative, but he loves his son and tried to conform Biff into an enthusiastic, optimistic and confident salesman.
From an outsider perspective, Willy Loman lives a normal life. He is a traveling salesman with two grown up sons, and a beautiful marriage. But is that really the life he has? No, it is not. One of the first disappointments Willy experiences is with his son.
Biff wants to retake the class in the summer but when he catches his father having an affair his perception of his father, his biggest role model, is shattered causing him to give up on the things he used to want to do. Willy represses this memory entirely and tries to blame others for Biffs behavior instead of himself. Willy also fools himself into thinking he is well liked and successful. In small moments of clarity Willy admits that people have made fun of his physique and no one talks to him anymore when he goes
This play is about the Loman family who live in America in the1940s. The protagonist, Willy Loman, is a salesman struggling to make enough money to pay the bills who is obsessed with appearing to be successful and ‘well liked’. Willy has a long-suffering wife, Linda, and two sons: Biff and Happy. Although Biff was extremely popular and a talented footballer in his youth, he is still trying to ‘find himself’ at the age of thirty-four while the ironically named Happy is boastful and competitive but equally dissatisfied with his life. The structure of the play is such that we are not so much interested in asking, ‘what is going to happen to this family?’
Willy Loman is the central figure of the play. He’s an untalented but energetic man gripped by the American dream. Willy’s personality disintegrates as he moves into his 60’s and his strength begins to fail him. He commits suicide in hope of earning thousands in life insurance for his wife and two sons. Over the course of the play, he is presented as a complex person who hides deep insecurity beneath bluster and drive, relying on his handsome and athletic sons to compensate for his own sense of inadequacy.
In the Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, the Lomans are a very dysfunctional family. All have distorted ideas of what happiness is and what is essential to accomplish success. Characters portrayed in the play are the parents William “Willy” and Linda Loman, Biff the oldest son, Harold “Happy” the youngest son and the very wealthy Uncle Ben, Willy’s older brother. Other influential characters in the play include Willy’s only friend Charley, Charley’s nerd son Bernard, and the woman to which Willy refers to as Miss Harvey, his mistress.
Biff starts to realize that he has been living in a fantasy world, imagining things like being extremely important, and a favored salesman of Oliver’s, when in fact, he is just a nameless shipping clerk. This is where Biff begins to question himself. Biff has been built up his whole life by Willy and it is starting to catch up to him. Biff has to decide for himself now instead of letting Willy’s praise or criticism affect his life choices. This is a very hard thing for both Willy and Biff because Biff wants to leave and go live out his life the way he chooses without having to constantly try and live up to his father’s standards while Willy is having trouble letting him go.
Willy finds out his dream of being an popular, well respected salesman is impossible and takes his own life. Linda supports Willy despite the abuse and confusion he puts her through with his various attempts to take his own life, with his delirious ramblings and hallucinations, and with his constant deception. Happy still sees his father as a hero and Biff finally begins to grasp the truth of the “American Dream”. When Willy kills himself, all of the Loman family, including Willy, break free from the web of false dreams he spun and begin to understand Willy’s failings. They also realize their own flaws.
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller is a modern tragedy portraying the final days of Willy Loman’s life. Willy was once a well-liked salesman who could provide for his family. Sadly, as Willy is ageing, he is no longer able to make ends meet. Willy suffers from both depression and anxiety, the cause of which is his disintegrating career and his guilt of a past affair, which his eldest son, Biff, causing a great strain on their relationship. As the play advances, Willy becomes less able to differentiate between the present and the past.