Death Of A Salesman Essay Conflict

Death of a Salesman – Willy and Biff Conflict

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In Death of a Salesman,a drama by Arthur Miller, presents the conflict between to main characters, the traveling salesman, Willy Loman, and his son Biff. This discord is founded in the fact that each man is faced with the impractical ideals placed on them by the other. This leads to the subsequent shattering of Willy and Biff’s hopes. Willy chastises his son on numerous occassions. However, his scoldings fall deafly on Biff’s ears because he has learned of his father’s affair. Many facets make up Willy’s somewhat disfigured success ideal . First, he defines his success by his appearance and personal popularity.

Perhaps this is gleaned from his mentor, another salesman, Dave Singleman. Singleman’s skill is reflected in the large amounts of people that attend his funeral. Willy holds this popularity in high regard. It is his hope that Biff and his brother happy will lead successful prosperous lives. Willy ; brags to them how successful he believes he will become in the future. ; “Happy: ? Just like Uncle Charley, heh? ‘ Willy: ?Bigger than Uncle > Charley! Because Charley is not– liked. He’s liked, but he’s not? well liked. ‘” Despite his constant effort, Willy never attains his desired opularity and is confined to life of an average middle-class working man. When Biff fails math, preventing his graduation from high school, Willy’s dream his son with succeed in his place is shattered. > Biff idolized his father during his youth. His belief that his father can fix anything leads him to travel to Boston , where his father was working . He hopes that if he pleads to his father, he will, in turn, speak to Biff’s math teacher to see what can be done about his grade. However, upon his arrival in Boston, he walks in on his father and a lady friend involved in sexual ehavior. He no longer can see his father in the same light. As the story continues, ; Willy’s mental state deteriorates, distorting his view of appearance and reality, with old memories invading the present . This imperfection only adds to Biff’s disapproval of his father. ; Willy believes that, at the end of his life, he has been burdered with the worst possible humiliation. With this in mind, Willy commits suicide to allow his family to collect a large sum of insurance money. Ironically, not even his death brought about the popularity he so desperately sought. In fact, the

Author: Brandon Johnson

in Death of a Salesman

Inner Conflict In Death Of A Salesman

Inner Conflict in Death of a Salesman

The main conflict in Death of a Salesman deals with the confusion and frustration of Willy Lowman. These feelings are caused by his inability to face the realities of modern society. Willy's most prominent delusion is that success is dependant upon popularity and having personal attractiveness. Willy builds his entire life around this idea and teaches it to his children.

When Willy was young, he had met a man named Dave Singleman who was so well-liked that he was able to make a living simply by staying in his hotel room and telephoning buyers. When Dave Singleman died, buyers and salesmen from all over the country came to his funeral. This is what Willy has been trying to emulate his entire life. Willy's need to feel well-liked is so strong that he often makes up lies about his popularity and success. At times, Willy even believes these lies himself. At one point in the play, Willy tells his family of how well-liked he is in all of his towns and how vital he is to New England. Later, however, he tells Linda that no one remembers him and that the people laugh at him behind his back. As this demonstrates, Willy's need to feel well-liked also causes him to become intensely paranoid. When his son, Biff, for example, is trying to explain why he cannot become successful, Willy believes that Biff is just trying to spite him. Unfortunately, Willy never realizes that his values are flawed. As Biff points out at the end of the play, "he had the wrong dreams."

In many ways Biff is similar to his father. In the beginning of the play we see that Biff shares many of the same ideas as Willy. He values being well-liked above everything else and sees little value in being smart or honest. One of Biff's main flaws is his tendency to steal. Early in the play we learn that he has stolen a football from the school locker. When Willy finds out about this, instead of disciplining Biff, he says that the coach will probably congratulate him on his initiative. We also learn that Biff once stole a box of basketballs from Bill Oliver. This foreshadows the scene in which Biff steals Bill Oliver's fountain pen after trying to get a loan for his sporting goods business. The climactic scene in Biff's life comes when he finds a woman in Willy's hotel room. This causes Biff to realize that Willy is a fake. Biff's tragedy is that he has accepted Willy's values all his life, and now that he finds out they are false, he has no values of his own to rely upon. Thus, Biff becomes lost and must set out to find his own values. Once Biff begins to develop his own beliefs, his opinions about his father change. Instead of viewing his father as a fake, Biff comes to realize that his father had some good qualities, but was simply misguided by inadequate values.

Happy is the younger of the two Lowman brothers and thus is often overshadowed by Biff. Because of this, Happy is constantly trying to get attention from Willy. In one of the...

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