Death of a Salesman


Cast of Characters

Willy Loman – Willy Loman is the titular character of the play. He is a traveling salesman who has never been very successful. He believes very strongly in the American Dream, which promises wealth and success to people who work for it, but he has never achieved that dream. Moreover, neither of his boys achieves that success, either, and he is angry at them for the failure that reflects his own. Throughout the course of the play, the audience sees Willy experience a mental breakdown, and it becomes increasingly difficult for him to discern whether something is occurring in the present reality, is a memory, or is part of his past.

Linda Loman – Linda Loman is Willy’s wife and mother to Biff and Happy. She is very loyal to her husband, and tries to get her sons to show him support. Though she would clearly like for her husband to achieve the success of which he dreams, she is practical and realistic. She is the backbone of the family.

Biff Loman – Biff Loman is Willy and Linda’s oldest son. Biff was a shining star in high school: a football player with lots of friends, a way with women, and scholarship prospects. However, Biff failed math and did not go to summer school, so he could not graduate. His life has been a downward decline since then; he has been fired due to stealing from all of his jobs. Biff finds his father stifling and cannot live up to Willy’s expectations, but he is also profoundly disappointed in Willy.

Happy Loman – Happy is Willy and Linda’s younger son. He spent much of his life in Biff’s shadow, but Happy has much ambition. However, Happy’s personal ethics seem questionable. He has no clear loyalty to any character in the play, instead flip-flopping to try to keep people happy. He is also a Lothario, allowing his sex drive to dictate much of his behavior.

Charley – Charley is the Lomans’ next-door neighbor and Willy’s good friend. The relationship between the...

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Essays About Death of a Salesman