Death Of A Salesman Father Son Relationship Essay

872 Words4 Pages
Throughout Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, the relationship between fathers and sons have been a purposeful motif used to exemplify different dynamics and levels of success in parenting styles. The relationships between Willy and his two father figures, his biological father and his older brother Ben, are similar in the sense that neither were able to guide Willy into success or adulthood, leading Willy to attempt to succeed to no avail. Willy’s continued admiration of these figures support the concepts that fantasy can blur one’s sense of reality and that the competence and guidance of one’s father figure dictates one’s success in life. The only relationship between Willy and his biological father is fabricated in Willy’s mind, but…show more content…
Ben is Willy’s strongest fabricated father figure considering the abandonment of their actual father. Although Ben is granted this position, he is unwilling or incompetent in assuming fatherly duties. Healthy father figures are generally supportive and able to provide helpful advice, but Ben is self-absorbed with his own interests as his top priority. At the age of 17/19, Ben waltzes right into Africa and finds success in colonization. Willy relentlessly looks up to him and blindly attempts to follow his path of success, but fails to see that Ben’s success is dumb luck and that Ben is a common simpleton. Willy is obsessed with the concept of success but not only does Ben not provide helpful advice, but it is highly doubtful that he has any relevant advice to offer in the first place. When he becomes frustrated in a flashback, he begs Ben to tell him how dad is successful, and Ben turns the question back around to avoid answering. Ben went out traveling with Alaska as his destination in order to locate their father, but Ben is unable to comprehend simple geography. He accidentally winds up in Africa instead. It takes a quick glance at a map of the world to realize that Alaska is not synonymous for
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