Relationships in Death of a Salesman
The father son relationships of Willy, Biff, and Happy in Death of a Salesman change throughout the play. Willy wanted his sons to be well liked and successful even from any early age. As adults Biff and Happy are not the successful men their father wanted and Willy will not accept who they are. He lies to himself by exaggerating his sons' jobs and ambitions. Willy will not accept the truth. Willy's flashbacks show why relationships are strained as well as the dreams he had for his sons. The most dramatic change is in Biff and Willy's relationship and Happy remains in second place through the play. The changes occur around the individual desires of each character.
The relationship of Willy and Biff was picture perfect when we see Biff in high school. Willy was proud of his popular football star son. Biff looked up to his father and wanted to be like him. Their relationship was broken when Biff went to Boston to see his father. Biff went to talk to Willy about failing math and caught his father with another woman. From that point on Biff no longer wanted to be like his father. "Biff's discovery that Willy has a mistress strips him of his faith in Willy and Willy's ambitions for him"(sparknotes). He considered his father a fake and a liar. He now struggled to be his own man and find what made him happy. "Despite the fact that he had been viewed as a gifted athlete and a boy with a potentially great future, Biff has been unable as an adult to succeed or even persevere at any professional challenge"(Domina). Biffs lack of success is upsetting to Willy's high expectations and he will not accept it. " Consequently, Willy sees Biff as an underachiever, while Biff sees himself trapped in Willy's grandiose fantasies"(sparknotes). Due to these circumstances the broken relationship is never reconciled.
Willy and Happy's relationship remained considerably constant through the play. Happy was always in second place behind his...
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