Friday November 2nd, 2012
The Dynamic of Father-Son Relationships
The parent-child relationship plays a large role in various literary works. The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, both explore the dynamic of many parent-child relationships. Death of a Salesman regarded the troubling relationship that Willy Loman, an unsuccessful Salesman, had with his two children Biff and Happy. Similarly, in Things Fall Apart it described the life of a man named Okonkwo who had much controversy when it came to his relationship with his two sons Nwoye and Ikemefuna. In these two works, the relationship between father and son plays a large role in the plot of the text. Evident within both works, the fathers are held responsible for the failure of their relationships with their sons. This is exposed through the father’s desires, the father’s determination, and the male dominated relationships. Within the play Death of a Salesman Willy Loman the father of Happy and Biff Loman have relationships that play a large role within the work but these relationships fail because of the father’s desires, the fathers determination, and the male dominated relationship. Willy focused on supporting Biff over Happy from the beginning. “Biff Loman is lost. In the greatest city in the world a young man with such --- personal attractiveness gets lost. And such a hard worker. There’s one thing about Biff --- he’s not lazy” (Miller 6). Willy always desired for Biff to be successful. This desire caused a lack of attention and support shown towards Happy. Happy slowly started to lose respect for his own father. After a life of being ignored and mistreated Happy rejects Willy as his father. “No, that’s not my father. He’s just a guy” (91). Willy’s desire to make Biff successful did not give him time to focus on Happy. Happy grew tired of being ignored and was not able to control himself when asked if Willy...
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