Up in the Air Va Death of a Salesman

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Niko Athanasatos
Mr. Ferraro
English 12H
October 17, 2010
Same Difference
Willy Loman and Ryan Bingham share some qualities. However, these qualities distinguish them from each other making them two very different people. They both lack family values, yet Willy has a family and Ryan does not. Both of them have a desire; however, Willy’s is clearly unattainable while Ryan’s is within reach. They are both self-absorbed; though only Ryan knows it. What seems to be a similarity between the two men actually makes them very different from each other.

Willy Loman and Ryan Bingham both lack family values; however Ryan does not have a family of his own. Can one have family values if they do not have a family? Yes they can. On the shuttle bus ride to the Hilton Miami Airport Hotel, Natalie Keener is appalled by Ryan’s view on marriage. “ I just don’t see the value in it…How many stable marriages do you know?” To prove Ryan’s disbelief in family values Willy has an affair with another woman. Willy’s self-confidence takes precedence over his own family. When he asks his mistress for the second time, “You picked me, heh?” she responds with the confidence boost he needs. “Sure. Because you’re so sweet. And such a kidder.” Willy’s lack of family values is also portrayed when he gives Linda’s stockings to the mistress. The stockings symbolize Willy’s betrayal of his family. Of course to Ryan Bingham, the stockings are meaningless because he does not have a family of his own. Nevertheless, the stockings should be significant to Willy, but they are clearly not. Even though Willy and Ryan share a lack of family values, they contrast in the situations they are in.

Every man has a desire; however, it is how attainable their desire is that distinguishes a goal from dream. Ryan Bingman’s goal is to become the seventh person in history to reach ten million flying miles. “More people have walked on the moon.” Ryan Bingham’s job involves a great deal of time spent in the air...
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