There is the present broken, exhausted man in his sixties, soon to end his life. Willy seems childlike and relies on others for support, coupled with his recurring flashbacks to various moments throughout his career. The people at the funeral, who Willy is sure will be in attendance, will prove to his sons that he was respected and well liked. He misjudges his sons and fails to accept the truth about either of them. The salesman part is what he does to stay alive. He has a lot of potential, but he also has a whopping case of self-deception paired with misguided life goals. Loman's is part of the challenge of the role.
Lesson Summary Throughout Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman's actions show the us who he is. Since he has no skills and little education, Biff tries to get by on being handsome and well liked; however, he is a miserable failure, who resorts to stealing to get what he wants. Since he is the more attractive son who has been a successful athlete in high school, Willy has placed most of his dreams in this older son. Even though this play does not conform to traditional classic tragedy a pattern, a preordained cycle revolving around the family can be seen, much like the family curse in Oedipus Rex. His name was never in the paper. The aptly named Happy continues to believe in these ideals even after his father's death and decides that the Loman name will succeed. Prior to the Boston trip, Biff, more than anyone, sincerely believes in Willy's success, potential, and inevitable greatness.
Linda Supports Willy When Linda first appears, she expresses the concern for Willy that is the hallmark of her character throughout the play. He is a man struggling to hold onto the little dignity he has left in a changing society. Had Willy not constantly pushed Biff into selling, Biff would not have a dawn of realization. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. First, the reader should feel sorrow for Loman because he is disappointed with many aspects of his life. She is the first to realize that Willy is contemplating suicide at the beginning of the play, and urges Biff to make something of himself, while expecting Willy to help Biff do so. She also repeatedly lies to Willy, leading him to believe that he adequately provides for her and the family.
She chides her sons, particularly Biff, for not helping Willy more, and supports Willy lovingly even though Willy sometimes treats her poorly, ignoring her opinions over those of others. He has difficulty dealing with his current state and has created a fantasy world to cope with his situation. Even when Biff forces his father to face reality, Willy is unable to accept the truth as presented to him by his elder son. First, he is disappointed in his Hap actually has a job and a place of his own. Even after Biff totally lays it out for his dad that all he wants to do is be a cowboy or whatever, Willy refuses to understand.
Despite not being able to provide for his family, Willy Loman continues the futile struggle to earn a living, which shows the despair of falling from a position of respect to a position of uselessness. Willy and His Family In Act 1, Willy comes home from a business trip and tells his wife, Linda, that the car kept going onto the shoulder of the road, and that he had to come home. During the play, Biff slowly begins to accept that both he and his father are failures in life. Willy Loman's Lonely Character in Death of a Salesman Willy Loman died the death of a salesman. Like any tragic hero, Willy has a flaw. The character must be viewed as a good person. In comparison, Charley and Bernard are relatively nerdy, un-athletic guys, perfectly suited and happy to be in an office setting.
Biff was a football star with a lot of potential in high school, but failed math his senior year and dropped out of summer school when he saw Willy with another woman while visiting him in Boston. To his credit, Willy does acknowledge Linda's devotion to him, calling her 'my foundation and my support. Creator described the role as one for a large character in a small physical body and noted he had difficulty finding the right actor at first. Willy is shown to be a loyal man in that he has worked for the same company for so long that he gave his current boss as a child. The disillusionment begins when he is still a teenager.
Each of the four Broadway revivals has brought critical acclaim to the role. He has been a traveling salesman, the lowest of positions, for the Wagner Company for thirty-four years. Death of a Salesman: Free BookNotes Online Book Summary All Content Copyright©TheBestNotes. Willy's dream is to become like Dave Singleman, who was very popular with his clients and able to do business by just making phone calls. Death of a Salesman is Willy's play.
Loman had succeeded in large part due to popularity, which is a value he attempted to instill in his sons. He made a living at this for 30 years, but as he enters the reclining years of Biff, after catching his father with the woman begins to question these values. Emotionally exhausted, Willy tells Biff and Happy the truth about being fired. Willy is confused, but when Biff leaves, he says that Biff loves him and always has. With Biff and Happy not able to support him in his time of need, Willy cannot stand the reality of the failure of his sons. When his head is bowed, it is not in resignation but rather like that of a bull bloodied by the picador yet ready to charge again. However, he never paid attention to his schoolwork and failed in math.