Death Of A Salesman Identity Essay

1430 Words6 Pages

Knowing yourself means knowing the real you, not just the one that you're present to the world, making this new discovery of yourself a long and overwhelming journey. Within “Death of a Salesman”, an old salesman, Willy Loman, struggles with living up to his own expectations, and these struggles don’t just affect WIlly, rather they affect both his sons, Biff and Happy, as well as his selfless and caring wife, Linda. The author, Arthur Miller, takes the readers on a journey through the last few hours of Willy’s life, showing Willy’s flashbacks, dreams, face-to-face encounters, and arguments. In “Death of a Salesman”, Miller utilizes the complex relationships between Willy and Biff through numerous conflicts in order to emphasize that one must …show more content…

A person who struggles with knowing who they are or what they want to do with themselves is experiencing something called identity confusion (“Identity”). In “Death of a Salesman”, it is clear that Willy Loman never was able to discover himself, sparking identity confusion, leaving him in a constant state of confusion and despair. The issues Willy experienced throughout his troublesome life may have been sparked through past childhood experiences, like the absence of a father figure. The development of one’s identity starts when an individual is able to look up to their role models and be provided with numerous options to explore in order to discover who they are and what they can become (“Identity”). Starting from early childhood, identities are being developed and children slowly are starting to be given the opportunity to discover themselves. Taking a step away from Willy and looking more towards his eldest son, Biff Loman, it is clear that WIlly was Biff’s desired role model. Some young adults follow in the same footsteps as their parents, sculpting their own lives around their parents expectations (Avital). This is what occurs for Biff, for he tried to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a successful salesman, however, that wasn’t the path that intrigued him the most. Biff preferred working with his hands on a ranch. Biff knew that he never enjoyed the work of a salesman, however, his father continuously pushed that lifestyle upon him, creating a tense, unhealthy relationship between the two. This tense relationship created an abrupt separation between the two, pushing both farther away from each other and from achieving true identity discovery. A life of constant misery and despair seemed to be heading in both Willy

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