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Is Popularity The Key To Success?

848 words - 4 pages

Nowadays, people are concentrating more and more on good looks and likeability because it gives them confidence, and often, these traits come with money and power. In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller portrays the life of a salesman, Willy, who values the superficial quality of likeability and attractiveness over learning. He is obsessed with the idea of being well-liked which ultimately takes him nowhere. His son unfortunately follows that principle and ends up with an unhappy life. Many events that happen in this play reflect on a principle that being popular is not the only thing one needs to have in order to gain respect and be successful in life. Truth is that hard work without ...view middle of the document...

In the funeral, Linda questions “Why didn’t anybody come?/ But where are all the people he knew? May be they blame him” (1297). Perhaps, this is a prove to how Willy has been living in his own illusion of being well known for his whole life. At the end, despite being well-liked earlier in life, none of his business friends or customer attend the funeral, perhaps business is business and there is no personal feeling in it like the way Willy thinks it would be.

Willy has also influence his son by giving and enforcing the concept of being popular when they were really young. He pays more attention to Biff popularity as a football player but not to his learning. Ultimately, that one thing Willy does not value is the reason to Biff failure in life. Early in the play, this ideal is reinforce by Happy when he tries to convince Biff to talk to an old friend to get the job. “I bet he’d back you. ‘Cause he thought highly of you, Biff. I mean they all do. You’re well liked, Biff. That’s why I say to come back here” (1242). Even when Biff failure is already clear, Happy still emphasis on being popular is the route to success just like his dad. Willy has influence both of his son ideal of success in a way that he likes it to be not letting them define it for themselves. “That’s because he likes you. If somebody...

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