Death of a Salesman
In the play Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller; the characters Willy and Linda Loman fail their sons Happy and Biff by putting their selfish needs before that of their boys. The story begins with Willy, an irritable older man who is very demanding of his family. Willy also suffers from mental illness, depression and is frequently talking to himself. Linda on the other hand is stable but very quiet and reserved. Willy and Linda are constantly arguing with their sons. Both parents try to give off the impression that they have the perfect life when in reality, their life is far from perfect.
Throughout the play, Willy gets angry very easily. Even in flashbacks, he has outburst where he howls at his family. In Act 1, in a flash back Linda is mending her stockings and Willy shrieks at her “I won’t have you mending stockings in this house! Now throw them out! (Miller Pg39)” Act 2 opens with Willy enjoying the breakfast Linda has prepared for him, everything seems calm. Willy cheerfully thinks about the future, then he suddenly becomes angry again about his expensive appliances. Minutes later the phone rings. Linda chats with Biff, reminding him to be nice to his father at the restaurant that night. By Linda telling Biff to be nice to his father she is sweeping their problems under the rug instead of having Willy and Biff talk it out.
Happy is troubled by Willy’s habit of talking to himself. Most of the time, Happy notices, Willy talks to the Biff (who isn’t really there) about his disappointment in Biff’s unsteadiness. Biff went from job to job after graduating high school and is afraid that he has “wasted his life.” When in fact, Willy is somewhat to blame for Biff’s current situation. One afternoon Biff stole a football from the locker room at the high school. When Willy became aware of Biff's actions Willy did not punish Biff. Instead, he told Biff that the coach was probably going to congratulate Biff for his show of initiative. At...
Cited: Miller, Arthur, and Gerald Clifford Weales.Death of a salesman. New York: Penguin Books, 1996. Print.
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