Death of a Saleman - Happy Loman

Topics: Death of a Salesman, Audience theory, Audience Pages: 7 (2636 words) Published: July 5, 2013
Happy Loman

Happy shares none of the poetry that erupts from Biff and that is buried in Willy—he is the stunted incarnation of Willy’s worst traits and the embodiment of the lie of the happy American Dream. As such, Happy is a difficult character with whom to empathize. He is one-dimensional and static throughout the play. His empty vow to avenge Willy’s death by finally “beat[ing] this racket” provides evidence of his critical condition: for Happy, who has lived in the shadow of the inflated expectations of his brother, there is no escape from the Dream’s indoctrinated lies. Happy’s diseased condition is irreparable—he lacks even the tiniest spark of self-knowledge or capacity for self-analysis. He does share Willy’s capacity for self-delusion, trumpeting himself as the assistant buyer at his store, when, in reality, he is only an assistant to the assistant buyer. He does not possess a hint of the latent thirst for knowledge that proves Biff’s salvation. Happy is a doomed, utterly duped figure, destined to be swallowed up by the force of blind ambition that fuels his insatiable sex drive.

Character Analysis
Happy might as well be Willy Jr., because this apple hasn't fallen far from the tree. Though he is relatively successful in his job, he has his dad's totally unrealistic self-confidence, and his grand dreams about getting rich quick. Like Biff, but to a lesser extent, Happy has suffered from his father's expectations. Mostly, though, his father doesn't pay that much attention to him. Willy was always a bigger fan of Biff. Happy, maybe because he always felt second best, has more of a desire to please his father. Despite his respectable accomplishments in business, and the many, many notches on his bedpost, Happy is extremely lonely.

Happy is competitive and ambitious, but these feelings are misdirected. Unable to compete on his own terms in the business world, Happy blindly pursues women – taken women – purely for the sake of doing so. Looks like he's taken his sense of competition to the realm of sex. Of course, this, much like the world of business, fails to satisfy him.

Most disturbing for Happy is the fact that he can't figure out why all this isn't working. He's followed the rules, done all the right things, yet Happy just isn't happy. His name highlights the irony of his predicament. If you consider the fact that parents name their children, you could say that Willy foolishly bestowed the nickname on his son in yet another display of misguidance and delusion. Nice.

Just as the saddest part of Willy's suicide is his continued delusion, the saddest part of Happy's ending is his own persistent misbelief. Still driven by what he feels he should want (money, a wife), he sticks to Willy’s foolish dreams to the bitter end.

Happy Loman
Hap is the Loman's youngest son. He lives in an apartment in New York, and during the play is staying at his parent's house to visit. Hap is of low moral character; constantly with another woman, trying to find his way in life, even though he is confident he's on the right track.

Hap has always been the "second son" to Biff and tries to be noticed by his parents by showing off. When he was young he always told Willly, "I'm losin' weight pop, you notice?" And, now he is always saying, "I'm going to get married, just you wait and see," in an attempt to redeem himself in his mother's eyes. Hap also tries to be on Willy's good side and keep him happy, even if it means perpetuating the lies and illusions that Willy lives in.

In the end of the play, Hap cannot see reality. Like his father, he is destined to live a fruitless life trying for something that will not happen. "Willy Loman did not die in vain," he says, "…He had a good dream, the only dream a man can have - to come out number one man. He fought it out here, and this where I'm gonna win it for him."

Death of a Salesman By Arthur Miller Character Analysis Happy Loman Happy is a young version of Willy....
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