Death of a Salesman

Topics: American Dream, Linda McCartney, Trait theory Pages: 3 (1105 words) Published: October 20, 2010
Throughout the years many have tried to analyze and interpret Arthur Miller's character Willy in the novel Death of a salesman, attempting to establish his real influences and manipulation of the plot and fellow character's outcome. After my studying of the novel I have come to the conclusion that Willy's character is both a victimizer and a victim. Willy's action influences his family's lives in various ways such as brainwashing his son Happy into pursuing his competitive and destructive desire to be "well-liked" and attain the "American dream", while he has a bipolar relationship with his other son Biff. Willy is a very dominate character in the play and although he desperately relies on his wife Linda, he is emotionally unavailable to her and she is almost entirely disregarded by him. Willy's actions are the mere reflection of his frustration at his unquenchable thirst for the "American dream" and the bitter reality of his failures.

After reading Death of a Salesman, it is evident that Willy's venomous beliefs and ethics are echoed in Happy. Willy emotionally neglects Happy throughout his life and dismisses him as a person almost entirely. He invests no personal interest in his son and often seems bothered by him. This is apparent when Willy would always turn a deaf ear to Happy's announcements of "getting married" or having "lost weight" which were always overlooked,and all of Happy's attempts for praise or acknowledgment are refused. As Happy is starved of affirmation from his father he seeks it from others by mischievous means. Mirroring his father philosophy Happy is left constantly scrambling for ratification, and is convinced that being "well-liked" is the key to achieving happiness and success. This becomes a personality trait in Happy, as he always needs to feel validated and superior to his "competitor's" ( i.e. Biff & his coworkers). In Act one p.25 Happy brags about his affairs and womanizing to his brother while seeking his approval....
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