Death of a Salesman Essay

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Willy Loman failed as a parent. In the play, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, this protagonist’s success is marred by his sons’ failures. In his attempts to sift through his past and realize the cause of such a letdown, Willy comes to the conclusion that his own actions are to blame. When his son, Biff, stumbles upon his secret woman, Biff is crushed and loses all respect. It is this incident that clears all doubts in the play and serves as an illuminating incident, throwing light on the once ambiguous issue and connecting all the dots. This event also functions as a casement, opening Willy’s eyes to his true purpose in life and preventing his death as a salesman. Willy’s nostalgia about his son’s flourishing past is brought to a sudden halt when he realizes that Biff is struggling in life now because of him. Biff was a thriving football captain: the whole team followed his every order. He had three college scholarships waiting for him after his high school graduation. However, his devotion to football and his ego prevented him from passing math. To amend such an issue, Biff decided to ask his dad to convince his teacher. When Biff goes to Boston to request this from his dad, he discovers his dad’s affair. It is this event that kills Biff on the inside, making him lose all his determination and hope for his future. Having revered his dad at all times and worked hard to be “well-liked” in his eyes, Biff’s perceptions transform altogether about the “phony little fake” (Miller 92). With no idol to look up to, and nobody to impress, Biff drops all his goals and stops being Biff. This incident caused unrest in his heart and made him unstable enough that he starting succumbing to theft in each of his jobs, to merely fill his void. All through the novel, the readers and Willy are unsure about Biff and his sudden decline, but the account of this episode elucidates all doubts. This serves as an illuminating incident because it is essential in the plot and without...
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