Willy's Destruction

802 Words4 Pages
Willy Loman, protagonist of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, is the embodiment of the tragic hero Northrop Frye is discussing when he said “Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape that they seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them,... Conductors may of course be instruments as well as victims of the divine lightning.” Willy’s lofty and unattainable goal of the American Dream that he set for himself and his family causes him to suffer, as well as all those around him. His attitude and actions most negatively affect his son Biff, who was never the same after he caught his father in the affair. In addition to Biff, Willy is the cause of the suffering of his second son Happy and wife Linda. The destruction…show more content…
Throughout his whole life, Biff has had to deal with the lofty expectations projected onto him by his father. In the early stages of his life, Biff believes in his father and believes what he is telling him. There is no reason in Biff’s mind to doubt him, as he is a loving father and honest man. Early on, Biff wants to grow up to be just like how he saw his father, as a successful, well liked salesman. Everything changed for Biff when he caught Willy in his affair. Imagine the feeling of disappointment Biff felt when he realized that the man who had been building him up and up all these years, the man whose words you use to judge your self worth, is nothing but a disloyal liar. Suddenly, he did not want to be anything like his father. He does not want to resemble his father in any light, including being a salesman. The decision to be a farm hand on the west coast rather than following his father’s dreams of him becoming a salesman only widens the rift and deepens the resentment between Biff and Willy. All of Biff’s negative traits, including his anger and kleptomania, can be traced back to Willy. There is not a doubt in the world that Biff drew the short end of the stick when he ended up with Willy as a father. Without Willy, Biff would have led a much happier, more successful
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