Legendary fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger once said, "The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive, and passion, it 's possible to achieve the American dream," which are ideals that Willy and Biff struggle with throughout the play The Death of a Salesman. Willy and Biff have different ideas of the American Dream which may or may not have an impact on the rest of their lives. Willy believes wholeheartedly in what he considers the promise of the American Dream that a “well liked” and “personally attractive” man in business will indubitably and deservedly acquire the material comforts offered by modern American life. Oddly, his fixation with the superficial qualities of attractiveness and likeability is at odds with …show more content…
Time and again, he wants to make sure his boys are well-liked and popular. For example, when his son Biff confesses to making fun of his math teacher 's lisp, Willy is more concerned with how Billy 's classmates react. Of course, Willy 's version of the American Dream never pans out. Despite his son 's popularity in high school, Biff grows up to be a drifter and a ranch-hand. Willy 's own career falters as his sales ability flat-lines. When he tries to use "personality" to ask his boss for a raise, he gets fired …show more content…
Although he has felt confused and angry since discovering his father 's infidelity, Biff Loman does have the potential to pursue the "right" dream, if only he could resolve his inner conflict. Biff is pulled by two different dreams. One dream is his father 's world of business, sales, and capitalism. But another dream involves nature, the great outdoors and working with his hands. Biff explains to his brother both the appeal and the angst of working on a ranch. However, by the end of the play, Biff realizes that his father had the "wrong" dream. Biff understands that his father was great with his hands; Willy built their garage and put up a new ceiling. Biff believes that his father should have been a carpenter, or should have lived in another, more rustic part of the
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The main character, Willy, is a salesman who has not had much success in his career and is struggling to provide for his family, leading to his failure to live up to this ideal American Dream. On the other hand, his son, Biff, is a former high school football star who is unsure of what he wants to do with his life. Throughout the play, Willy constantly reminisces and projects his hopes and dreams onto his son. He wants his son to be successful and live up to his expectations, but he fails to understand or accept Biff's lack of ambition. However, Biff is resentful of his father's unrealistic expectations and frustrated with his failure to meet them.
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
Even though Willy Loman's son Biff failed to meet the standards Willy set for him, he attempted to set realistic boundaries for him as a child. He wants to raise him in such a manner that he could be a business owner, though he is unaware that Biff could not live up to his expectations. He possessed qualities he felt that Biff needed to meet his dream saying "We can't go back to the old days though, can we? And let's try not to blame everything on the war. I realize it's a business kid, and everybody's got to pull his own weight.
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.
“The man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead” (33). In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller uses foil characters to elucidate Willy’s flaws that ultimately prevent him and his family from succeeding. The contrast between Charley and Willy and Bernard and Biff serves to highlight how Willy’s obsession with achieving his version of the American Dream impacts both his life and his children’s. His poor values are passed on to his children producing even more failures. ¬¬¬¬Both Charley and Willy work as salesmen, however Charley represents what Willy desired to become – successful.
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.
He refuses to see the concrete facts; he gets fired, has been a poor father figure and husband, and has had an unsuccessful career as a salesman. He not only fails to recognize the failure within him but the failure within his son. He never loses the grand, rich ambitions he has for his son despite the fact that Biff is a normal human
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.
Willy Loman believes success in life is having nice things, having money, and being known by people. Unfortunately, Mr. Loman never realises that success is much more than having material things. Hopefully Biff and Happy learn from their dad’s mistakes, and reach the real American
Everytime I’ve left it’s been a fight that sent me out of here. Today I realized something about myself and I tried to explain it to you and I—I think I’m just not smart enough to make any sense out of it for you… ”(Miller 128) In this last attempt to mend the shattered relationship between Biff and his father, Willy continues to hide behing the mask of a man that is not happy with who he is but refuses show it. He is stuck in his way even when Biff try’s to be the bigger person he can not allow himself to back down and admit what he has done
In the play, it shows Willy is soft and insecure not just a crazy man. Biff, Willy’s son had caught his father cheating on his mother and that made him feel angry at his father. Willy did not know how his son felt; Willy says [directly to Biff] “what’re you doing? What’re you doing?” Biff says [crying, broken] “will you let me go, for Christ’s sake?
Often individuals are prevented from achieving satisfaction due to a fundamental flaw in their character. In the case of Willy Loman, this flaw is his excessive pride and ambition. For the majority of his life, Willy has been primarily influenced by his brother Ben’s success. This has caused him to develop a sense of ambition that is both unrestrained and idealistic. Over the course of his lifetime, both Willy and his sons fall short of the impossible standards of this dream.
However, pursuing this goal came with a price. Since he was highly motivated to becoming a successful salesman, he rarely stayed at home. Instead, he spent most of his time travelling around the country to conduct sales. He became a workaholic, forcing himself to make sacrifices in his family life in order to seek his own ambitions. Therefore, Willy’s perfectionistic ideals led to his demise.
His willful hopefulness and exaggerated expectations betray him in the end by rendering him incapable of accepting himself or his children for who they are (Nadine). In this play, Willy would be a representation of failure to the American dream. Willy believes that personality, not hard work and innovation, is the key to success. Throughout time, Willy wants to make sure his boys are well-liked and popular. In the story Willy has said,” You and Hap and I, and I’ll show you all the towns.
This cancelled his plans to be a collegiate football player. Ever since then, things have kept going on a downhill path for Biff. Willy and Linda both notice this and it devastates them. But, instead of helping his son, Willy becomes agitated for the rest of his life. He expected his son to be better but, Biff did not want to be better.