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The two sides of willy lomans life

Characters[ edit ] William "Willy" Loman: He is 63 years old and unstable, insecure, and self-deluded.

  1. Accomplishments are okay, but it is who a person knows and how he treats him that gets a person ahead in the world. Whenever you can this week, stop by and drop off the samples.
  2. Biff leaves the restaurant in frustration, followed by Happy and two girls that Happy has picked up.
  3. Willy then goes to the office of his neighbor Charley, where he runs into Charley's son Bernard now a successful lawyer ; Bernard tells him that Biff originally wanted to do well in summer school , but something happened in Boston when Biff went to visit his father that changed his mind. Accomplishments are okay, but it is who a person knows and how he treats him that gets a person ahead in the world.
  4. He worships Biff and does anything for him.
  5. Everything that Willy owns is old, in bad shape, or does not work at all.

Willy tends to re-imagine events from the past as if they were real. He vacillates between different eras of his life. Willy seems childlike and relies on others for support, coupled with his recurring flashbacks to various moments throughout his career. His first name, Willy, reflects this childlike aspect as well as sounding like the question "Will he?

Willy's loyal and loving wife. Linda is passively supportive and docile when Willy talks unrealistically about hopes for the future, although she seems to have a good knowledge of what is really going on. She chides her sons, particularly Biff, for not helping Willy more, and supports Willy lovingly even though Willy sometimes treats her poorly, ignoring her opinions over those of others.

She is the first to realize that Willy is contemplating suicide at the beginning of the play, and urges Biff to make something of himself, while expecting Willy to help Biff do so.

  • Biff and his brother Happy, who is temporarily staying with Willy and Linda after Biff's unexpected return from the West, reminisce about their childhood together;
  • The predominant emotion in the play is nostalgia;
  • Losing touch with reality keeps Willy from relating to his boss or even his sons.

Biff was a football star with a lot of potential in high school, but failed math his senior year and dropped out of summer school when he saw Willy with another woman while visiting him in Boston. He wavers between going home to try to fulfill Willy's dream for him as a businessman or ignoring his father by going out West to be a farmhand where he feels happy. He likes being outdoors and working with his hands, yet wants to do something worthwhile so Willy will be proud of him. Biff steals because he wants evidence of success, even if it is the two sides of willy lomans life evidence, but overall Biff remains a realist and informs Willy that he is just a normal guy and will not be a great man.

He's lived in the shadow of his older brother Biff most of his life and seems to be almost ignored, but he still tries to be supportive toward his family. He has a restless lifestyle as a womanizer and dreams of moving beyond his current job as an assistant to the assistant buyer at the local the two sides of willy lomans life, but he is willing to cheat a little in order to do so, by taking bribes. He is always looking for approval from his parents, but he rarely gets any, and he even goes as far as to make things up just for attention, such as telling his parents he is going to get married.

He tries often to keep his family's perceptions of each other positive or "happy" by defending each of them during their many arguments, but still has the most turbulent relationship with Linda, who looks down on him for his lifestyle and apparent cheapness, despite his giving them money.

Willy's somewhat wise-cracking yet kind and understanding neighbor. He pities Willy and frequently lends him money and comes over to play cards with him, although Willy often treats him poorly. Willy is jealous of him because his son is more successful than Willy's. Charley offers Willy a job many times during visits to his office, yet Willy declines every time, even after he loses his job as a salesman.

In Willy's flashbacks, he is a nerd, and Willy forces him to give Biff test answers. He worships Biff and does anything for him. Later, he is a very successful lawyer, married, and expecting a second son — the same successes that Willy wants for his sons, in particular Biff.

Bernard makes Willy contemplate where he has gone wrong as a father. Willy's older brother who became a diamond tycoon after a detour to Africa. He is dead, but Willy frequently speaks to him in his hallucinations of the past. He is Willy's role model, although he is much older and has no real relationship with Willy, preferring to assert his superiority over his younger brother. He represents Willy's idea of the American Dream success story, and is shown coming by the Lomans' house while on business trips to share stories.

Willy worked originally for Howard's father and claims to have suggested the name Howard for the newborn son. He however sees Willy as a liability for the company and fires him, ignoring all the years that Willy has given to the company. Howard is extremely proud of his wealth, which is manifested in his new wire recorder, and of his family. A waiter at the restaurant who seems to be friends or acquainted with Happy.

A girl whom Happy picks up at the restaurant.

She is very pretty and claims she was on several magazine covers. Happy lies to her, making himself and Biff look like they are important and successful. Happy claims that he attended West Point and that Biff is a star football player. Summary[ edit ] Willy Loman returns home exhausted after a business trip he has cancelled. Worried over Willy's state of mind and recent car accident, his wife Linda suggests that he ask his boss Howard Wagner to allow him to work in his home city so he will not have to travel.

Willy complains to Linda that their son, Biff, has yet to make good on his life. Biff and his brother Happy, who is temporarily staying with Willy and Linda after Biff's unexpected return from the West, reminisce about their childhood together.

They discuss their father's mental degeneration, which they have witnessed in the form of his constant indecisiveness and daydreaming about the boys' high school years. Willy walks in, angry that the two boys have never amounted to anything. In an effort to pacify their father, Biff and Happy tell their father that Biff plans to make a business proposition the next day. The next day, Willy goes to ask his boss, Howard, for a job in town while Biff goes to make a business proposition, but both fail.

Willy gets angry and ends up getting fired when the boss tells him he needs a rest and can no longer represent the company. Biff waits hours to see a former employer who does not remember him and turns him down.

Biff impulsively steals a fountain pen. Willy then goes to the office of his neighbor Charley, the two sides of willy lomans life he runs into Charley's son Bernard now a successful lawyer ; Bernard tells him that Biff originally wanted to do well in summer schoolbut something happened in Boston when Biff went to visit his father that changed his mind. Charley gives the now-unemployed Willy money to pay his life-insurance premium; Willy shocks Charley by remarking that ultimately, a man is "worth more dead than alive.

Happy tries to get Biff to lie to their father.

Biff tries to tell him what happened as Willy gets angry and slips into a flashback of what happened in Boston the day Biff came to see him. Willy had been having an affair with a receptionist on one of his sales trips when Biff unexpectedly arrived at Willy's hotel room. A shocked Biff angrily confronted his father, calling him a liar and a fraud. From that moment, Biff's views of his father changed and set Biff adrift.

Biff leaves the restaurant in frustration, followed by Happy and two girls that Happy has picked up. They leave a confused and upset Willy behind in the restaurant. When they later return home, their mother angrily confronts them for abandoning their father while Willy remains outside, talking to himself. Biff tries unsuccessfully to reconcile with Willy, but the discussion quickly escalates into another argument. Biff conveys plainly to his father that he is not meant for anything great, insisting that both of them are simply ordinary men meant to lead ordinary lives.

Discuss the conflict that Willy Loman faces in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.

The feud reaches an apparent climax with Biff hugging Willy and crying as he tries to get Willy to let go of the unrealistic expectations. Rather than listen to what Biff actually says, Willy appears to believe his son has forgiven him and will follow in his footsteps, and after Linda goes upstairs to bed despite her urging him to follow herlapses one final time into a hallucination, thinking he sees his long-dead brother Ben, whom Willy idolized.

  • In a return engagement, this production re-opened on September 14, 1984, and ran for 88 performances;
  • Worried over Willy's state of mind and recent car accident, his wife Linda suggests that he ask his boss Howard Wagner to allow him to work in his home city so he will not have to travel.

In Willy's mind, Ben approves of the scheme Willy has dreamed up to kill himself in order to give Biff his insurance policy money. Willy exits the house. Biff and Linda cry out in despair as the sound of Willy's car blares up and fades out. The final scene takes place at Willy's funeral, which is attended only by his family, Charley and Bernard Bernard says nothing at the funeral, but in the stage directions, he is present.

The ambiguities of mixed and unaddressed emotions persist, particularly over whether Willy's choices or circumstances were obsolete.

At the funeral Biff retains his belief that he does not want to become a businessman like his father. Happy, on the other hand, chooses to follow in his father's footsteps, while Linda laments her husband's decision just before her final payment on the house. Themes[ edit ] Reality and Illusion[ edit ] Death of a Salesman uses flashbacks to present Willy's memory during the reality.

The more he indulges in the illusion, the harder it is for him to face reality. Biff is the only one who realizes that the whole family lived in the lies and tries to face the truth. The two sides of willy lomans life believes that the key to success is being well-liked, and his frequent flashbacks show that he measures happiness in terms of wealth and popularity. Because of this, Willy thought that money would make him happy.

And by God I was rich. Meaning that he can and cannot see at the same time, since his way of seeing or visualizing the future is completely wrong. Willy criticizes Charley and Bernard throughout the play, but it is not because he hates them. Rather, it's argued that he is jealous of the successes they have enjoyed, which is outside his standards. Charley has no time for Willy's theories of business, but he provides for his family and is in a position to offer Willy a do-nothing job to keep him bringing home a salary.

Bloom 51 [7] Reception[ edit ] This section relies largely or entirely on a single source. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources. London responses were mixed, but mostly favorable.

Some people, such as Eric Keown, think of Death of a Salesman as "a potential tragedy deflected from its true course by Marxist sympathies. The Berlin production was more successful than New York, possibly due to better interpretation. In China[ edit ] Death of a Salesman was welcomed in China.

There, Arthur Miller directed the the two sides of willy lomans life himself. The salesman part is what he does to stay alive. But he could be a peasant, he could be, whatever. The play opened at the Morosco Theatre on February 10, 1949, closing on November 18, 1950, after 742 performances.

  • Themes[ edit ] Reality and Illusion[ edit ] Death of a Salesman uses flashbacks to present Willy's memory during the reality;
  • Biff and his brother Happy, who is temporarily staying with Willy and Linda after Biff's unexpected return from the West, reminisce about their childhood together;
  • The feud reaches an apparent climax with Biff hugging Willy and crying as he tries to get Willy to let go of the unrealistic expectations;
  • He is in conflict with society, his family, and himself.

The play starred Lee J. Jayne Mansfield performed in a production of the play in DallasTexasin October 1953. Her performance in the play attracted Paramount Pictures to hire her for the studio's film productions. June 26, 1975, at the Circle in the Square Theatrerunning for 71 performances. Scott starred as Willy.

March 29, 1984, at the Broadhurst Theatrerunning for 97 performances. Dustin Hoffman played Willy. In a return engagement, this production re-opened on September 14, 1984, and ran for 88 performances.