Seeking Truth in Death Of A Salesman and The Glass Menagerie
Often society seeks to thwart the desire of certain people to find and/or face the truth. Examples of this are found throughut literature. Two excellent example of this are Biff Loman from 'The Death Of A Salesman' and Tom Wingfield from 'The Glass Menagerie'. At some point, they both have to face and understand the truth about their lives. Biff is faced with the lies and morals of society obsessed with the corrupt version of American Dream, especially his father, and his inability to pursue his own goals and dreams. Tom is faced with the sad reality of life in his family and the desire to escape it.
Biff Loman grew up in a family of a salesman. He had a reasonably happy childhood, and a great school career. He was good at American Football and won a football scholarship. His father, Willy Loman, was always very proud of his son and always praised him and put him above others. Unfortunately, Willy's life philosophy was ruined by the corrupted version of the American Dream. He believed that the key to happiness is money and success and the a person does not necessarily has to work hard to attain it. Biff grew up with those ideas and they influenced him a lot. But when he caught his father with another woman, the realization of the lie and corruption turned his life around. He no longer believes in his father or the dream, and lives a life of misery, trying to find what he wants to do with his life. But he keeps it to himself, and Willy still thinks that his son will turn out like him. Willy constantly pushes Biff to pursue a career in business world, while Biff knows that its the money or fame or success that makes him happy. He likes to work on a farm, away from the city, but at the same time he loves his father and does not want to ruin his hopes and dreams. He tries to work hard to please his father, until one day, he faces the truth. The truth that he can no longer stand the lie and he wants to lead his own life. That realization was a shock to Willy. It even lead to his suicide. But that incident set Biff free. He was no longer committed and constrained by his father's and most importantly by the society's views of happiness, and he went on to follow his heart and his idea of a successful life.
Tom Wingfield is faced with the bitter reality of his life. He works hard and gets a low wage. His life is boring, his family annoys him and most importantly he has hard time escaping it all. Mr. Wingfield, the absent father of Tom and Laura and husband to Amanda, is referred to often throughout the story. He is the ultimate symbol of escape. This is because he has managed to remove himself from the desperate situation that the rest of his family are still living...