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Death Of A Salesman Essay

952 words - 4 pages

David Stankunas 3.28.99 per. 5 AP English Death of a Salesman topic - #1 Son of a Salesman A father is an important role model in a young man's life; perhaps the most important. A father must guide his children, support them, teach them, and most importantly, love them. In the play Death of a Salesman, written by Arthur Miller, an aging salesman of 63, Willy Loman worked all his life for his children. Happy and especially Biff, his two sons, where his pride and joy and his reason for living. Willy tried as hard as he possibly could to provide for them, to support them, to mold them into men; but he failed. Willy's greatest fault, perhaps, was his inability to see his sons for what they really were. Biff and Happy were never destined to be great men, yet Willy always believed in them. Although Willy's hope is touching, it is also foolish. Willy Loman's blind faith in his son Biff's abilities destroyed Biff's sense of moderation and modesty.Despite Biff's obvious incompetence and mediocrity, Willy vehemently refused to accept his son's failure to "make the grade." Biff "stole himself out of every good job since high school!" (131), yet Willy cannot accept that his son is a "dime a dozen" and declares that Biff is merely failing to spite him. "I want you to know...where ever you go, that you cut down your life for spite!" (129). By blaming Biff for his problems, Willy clears himself of all guilt. Willy cannot realize that it was his ineptitude as a father that created Biff's character. If Willy was a little more aware of his son's situation, his true character, Biff may have realized sooner that he was not "a leader of men." When asked whose fault it is that he never accomplished anything, Biff answered "...I never got anywhere because you (Willy) blew me so full of hot air I could never stand taking orders from anybody! That's whose fault it is!" (131). If only Willy would have recognized his son Biff's mediocrity instead of believing he was a great kid, Biff may have become a good man. No matter what Biff did, Willy would never believe it was because he was incapable of success.Unlike his older brother Biff, Happy did not receive the affection or attention he craved from his father. Willy's preoccupation with his more attractive, better-liked son Biff, left Happy trailing in his sibling's footsteps. Happy always tried to get his parents' attention, hoping one day he could please them. "I'm losing weight, you notice, Pop?" (29). "I'm gonna get married, Mom. I wanted to tell you." (68) Yet Willy never noticed his younger son's accomplishments. The lack of recognition from his father only made Happy try...

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