Death of a Salesman Failure vs. Success

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Failure vs. Success

No one has a perfect life. Everyone has conflices that they must face sooner or

later. The ways in which people deal with these personal conflicts can differ as much as

the people themselves. Some insist on ignoring the problem as long as possible, while

some attack the problem to get it out of the way.

The book Death of a Salesman, is written by Arthur Miller. It takes place at

Willy Loman's - A 63 year old once popular salesman who's lost his popularity and sales,

not to mention his mind, small house in New York surrounded by apartments.

Biff, a thirty-four year old son of Willy who has been searching for himself while working

on farms in the west to the dismay of his father, returns from the west to visit his family

although he doesn't know how long he's going to stay. Happy, the younger brother of Biff

who tries in all he can to please his father and attempts to continue his father's dream after

he dies, is glad to see him, but Willy seems strangely irritated. Willy has a flashbacks time

to time. Biff and Happy were promising high school students. Charley, a father who is

fairly successful and offers Willy a job which Willy refuses on the basis of pride, comes to

Willy's house at night complaining of not being able to sleep. Charley and Willy play

cards, but at the same time, Willy hold a conversation with his imaginary brother. Charley

has no idea what's going on and leaves. Linda tells Biff that Willy has attempted suicide by

crashing the car several times. Willy comes out of his reverie and speaks with his family

about their jobs. Happy has an idea of starting a line of sporting goods so Biff decides to

go to Bill Oliver to ask to borrow money. Willy decides to go to Howard the next day to

ask if he can work in New York so that he wouldn't have to drive 700 miles to work.. The

next day Willy goes to Howard and Biff goes to see Oliver. They decide to celebrate their

success by going out for dinner at night. Biff confronts Willy about his suicide attempts

and Willy denies everything. He tells Biff that he did not get any money from Oliver and

has no hope go get any money. He accuses Willy of not know who he really is. However,

after this, Biff cries and leaves. Willy realizes that Biff loves him and decides to celebrate

by killing himself by crashing the car which would give his family twenty-thousand dollar

in life insurance. No one but his family and Charley goes to his funeral. In both of these

families, with different values, one leads to success and the other leads to failure.

First of all, in America, education is very important to succeed. The Loman family

doesn't have concern with there sons education, especially Biff. Throughout their lives

Willy devotes himself to coaching them, almost like an older teammate, in the technigues

for winning the striving game. He stresses those tactics he believes to be the keys to

achievement: popularity, congeniality, physical powess, and attractiveness. Willy never

tells the boys they need skill, he sedulously encourages them. An example would be when

when Willy says, "That's why I thank Almighty God you're both built like Adonises.

Because the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates

personal interest, is the man who gets ahead." (Act One, page 33) Charley's family

exemplifies conformity accepting both the goal of success and the approved routes to its

attainment. To Charley the value he places on education is more and more often the path

to occupational achievement. Bernard learns his lessons well; he is groomed by the school

system. Bernard is the symbolic import of his career, the meaning of appearing as a

lawyer before the Supreme Court. The scene between Bernard and Willy in Charley's

office and the ensuing conversation Willy has with Charley underlina again the...
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