No one has a perfect life. Everyone has conflices that they must face sooner or later. The ways in which people deal with these personal conflicts can differ as much as the people themselves. Some insist on ignoring the problem as long as possible, while some attack the problem to get it out of the way. The book Death of a Salesman, is written by Arthur Miller. It takes place at Willy Lomans – A 63 year old once popular salesman whos lost his popularity and sales, not to mention his mind, small house in New York surrounded by apartments.
Biff, a thirty-four year old son of Willy who has been searching for himself while working on farms in the west to the dismay of his father, returns from the west to visit his family although he doesnt know how long hes going to stay. Happy, the younger brother of Biff who tries in all he can to please his father and attempts to continue his fathers dream after he dies, is glad to see him, but Willy seems strangely irritated. Willy has a flashbacks time to time. Biff and Happy were promising high school students.
Charley, a father who is airly successful and offers Willy a job which Willy refuses on the basis of pride, comes to Willys house at night complaining of not being able to sleep. Charley and Willy play cards, but at the same time, Willy hold a conversation with his imaginary brother. Charley has no idea whats going on and leaves. Linda tells Biff that Willy has attempted suicide by crashing the car several times. Willy comes out of his reverie and speaks with his family about their jobs. Happy has an idea of starting a line of sporting goods so Biff decides to go to Bill Oliver to ask to borrow money.
Willy decides to go to Howard the next day to ask if he can work in New York so that he wouldnt have to drive 700 miles to work.. The next day Willy goes to Howard and Biff goes to see Oliver. They decide to celebrate their success by going out for dinner at night. Biff confronts Willy about his suicide attempts and Willy denies everything. He tells Biff that he did not get any money from Oliver and has no hope go get any money. He accuses Willy of not know who he really is. However, after this, Biff cries and leaves.
Willy realizes that Biff loves him and decides to celebrate y killing himself by crashing the car which would give his family twenty-thousand dollar in life insurance. No one but his family and Charley goes to his funeral. In both of these families, with different values, one leads to success and the other leads to failure. First of all, in America, education is very important to succeed. The Loman family doesnt have concern with there sons education, especially Biff. Throughout their lives Willy devotes himself to coaching them, almost like an older teammate, in the technigues for winning the striving game.
He stresses those tactics he believes to be the keys to achievement: popularity, congeniality, physical powess, and attractiveness. Willy never tells the boys they need skill, he sedulously encourages them. An example would be when when Willy says, Thats why I thank Almighty God youre both built like Adonises. Because the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. (Act One, page 33) Charleys family exemplifies conformity accepting both the goal of success and the approved routes to its attainment.
To Charley the value he places on education is more and more often the path to occupational achievement. Bernard learns his lessons well; he is groomed by the school system. Bernard is the symbolic import of his career, the meaning of appearing as a lawyer before the Supreme Court. The scene between Bernard and Willy in Charleys office and the ensuing conversation Willy has with Charley underlina again the distinctions between a fulfilling and an unfulfilling conformity. We have the contrast of charm vs. competitence, seeming vs. doing: WILLY: The Supreme Court!
And he didnt even mention it! CHARLEY: He dont have to–hes gonna do it. (Act Two, page 95) Second, a families trust is everything. The Lomans have secrets that they keep left and right. In the beginning of the play, Willy lies to Linda saying that he makes $212. 00 for commission, but hes really been getting it from a friend. While Willy was in Boston, Biff took a suprise visit there. When he arrived he found out the his father was cheating on his mom. You–you gave her Mamas stockings! cried Biff, when he couldnt even afford to buy his wife new ones.
Another secret is when Linda finds out that Willys trying to kill himself. She doesnt let Willy know that she found out, so shes letting the problem go on, instead of fixing it. In Act One, page 59, Linda states, I was looking for a duse. The lights brew out, and I went down the cellar. And behind the fuse box—it happened to fall out–was a length of rubber pipe–just short…… And sure enough, on the bottom of the water heater theres a new little nipple on the gas pipe…. Everyday I go down and take away that little rubber pipe.
But when he comes home, I put it back where it was. Happy lies constently about everything and anything. An example is when they were at the resturant and he met some girls. He told the girls that Willy wasnt his father. Charleys family has an open relationship. Charley taught Bernard to be honest. Third, theres appearanceWillys family shared the need to be well liked, and wanted to have the personalities to win friends and influence people, Willy tried to make sure his image presented an air of leadership and success, but was more passive than he wanted to appear.