Father-Son Relationship In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman - PDF
(Miller ) The growth of the father-son relationship in this play can be divided into three stages. The first stage is the childhood stage of Biff and Happy. Miller admits that the relationship is relevant to his personal experience with his .. Linda tells the sons, "he can't bring himself to-to open up to you" ( act 1). . In The Salesman Has a Birthday: Essays Celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of. Biff and Happy are the sons of Willy Loman, the main character of this drama play . But still you can see the good relationship between them when they talked his back and wouldn't believe the truth that his father wanted to commit suicide.
In act one, we can see that they were together planning their future dreams because their father isn't thinking highly of what they are doing now. You can see how they supported each other and they still have many dreams that they want to accomplish together. They even went out with girls together. In some ways, these two brothers are alike. They both are great dreamers and are still confused about themselves and the age nearly thirty.
Death of a Salesman: A Playwrights’ Forum
You can say that they really enjoy their time being together and the dreams they share in the beginning foAct One. As we move a little further to the end of the first act and the beginning of the second act, we can see that these two borthers began to have their argument. Biff is so tired of his father telling him what to do and mock him all the time, so he began to speak ill behind his back and wouldn't believe the truth that his father wanted to commit suicide.
As we come along to this point, we can see that through out the story, Willy seems to care more about his older son Biff that his younger son Happy. We can see it through the time that all Willy talks about is his son Biff but Happy seems to be a oursider of this family that he is simply someone to give suggestions.
You can never find Willy asking Happy how was his day or any health comversation between them. The pursuit of the 'American Dream' and the consequent failure is also an important theme in his plays. The commercialis ation and cut-throat competition to become the most successful man brought demise in the whole value-system of the Americans.
'Salesman' Willy Loman: A Towering Little Man : NPR
It seemed harder to hold on the family as a 'whole. The disintegration of the American families was becoming a common trend. Miller took all these issues as the major concerns in his plays. Mostly he dealt with industrial and commercial society on one hand and family on the other. While dealing with the theme of family, Miller pa id special emphasis on the Father-Son relationship in the family.Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Characters
However, Death of a Salesman is one of the best specimens of this theme. The play is a masterpiece and depicts the last day in the life of the protagonist Willy Loman- a salesman. Willy Loman, an average-earning American, worked throughout his life to achieve the 'Americ an Dream' the dream of becoming successful and popular. However, he suffers because he had a flawed value-system. He thought that whoever is well -liked among his peers and has an overall impressive personality can easily succeed in life.
Moreover, he thinks that 'salesmanship' is the best profession through which one can gain respect, affection, popularity and success. But late in life he realises his mistakes as he doesn't turn into a successful man. The tension arises when he starts transferring these m isconceptions and false ideals in his two sons- Biff and Happy.
From their very childhood, Willy makes a false impression on his sons. He makes them believe that their father is a very famous and successful salesman; that people love him wherever he goes; that he is an indispensable employee of his employers; that he is a very worthy man.
Because the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man 3 who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want. You take me, for instance. I never have to wait in line to see a buyer. Miller The growth of the father-son relationship in this play can be divided into three stages.
The first stage is the childhood stage of Biff and Happy. From this very stage Biff had been, undoubtedly, Willy's favourite. Happy, on the other hand, always tried to grab his father's attention but mostly he played the role of an assistant to his elder brother. The writer also explores the relationship of Biff and Willy more than Happy and Biff.
Willy's special attention was always towards Biff. The reason being, Biff was a good sportsman of his school and he was very popular among the students an d teachers. This made Willy believe that Biff would very easily succeed in life as he is efficient in making good impression upon others.
Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman
Willy himself wasn't a very successful man, so he started harbouring his dreams in his sons that they would achieve what he couldn't. The second reason for Willy's special love for Biff was that Biff was almost an alter ego of his father. Both Willy and Biff had a love for manual labour- works like making a stoop in front of the house, or mending the wall, ceiling and oth er parts of the house.
Both loved the outdoor field work surrounded by natural sceneries and fresh air. They both felt a kind of suffocation in the modern urbanised city life and weren't able to enjoy it properly. However, Willy never realised his actual talents and suffered failure because of plunging himself into a wrong profession. He was not a man for the business -world but still in order to earn fame he was trying to make himself what he was not meant to be.
During the childhood stage the love and und erstanding between the father and the son was the most. The love and affection was transmitted equally from both sides. Biff and Happy used to idealize their father.
Willy was Biff s 'hero' and the centre of his life. He trusted his father a lot and truly believed in his success. But the seeds of the future tension and shortcomings were also sown in this very stage. Willy brought up his sons on 4 wrong ideals and false pride. He always ignored their mistakes and rather himself tried to cover them. When Biff had stolen a basketball from the locker-room of the coach, Willy ignored his mistake and passed the incident as a joke.
When Bernard warned Willy that Biff would fail in the exams, Willy suggested Bernard to give the answers to Biff during the exams.
Moreo ver he told Biff that in future it is for sure that Biff would be five times ahead of Bernard. The reason being, simply, that Bernard didn't have an impressive personality. Bernard can get the best marks in school, y'understand, but when he gets out in the business world, y'understand, you are going to be five times ahead of him. That's why I thank Almighty God you're both built like Adonises. Miller 25 The second stage of their relationship began when both Biff and Happy grew up and stepped out of their school premises and entered the competitive and practical American World, where each was trying to become successful and carve out a space for himself.
Just at the beginning of this stage something happened that changed the father-son relationship completely. As it has been mentioned earlier also, Happy's relationship with Willy is presented on a secondary level. The actual father -son relationship that is in limelight, in the play, is Willy and Biff's relationship. Therefore this incident is also related to Willy and Biff.
Biff once caught his father, red -handed, cheating on his mother while on a business -trip to Boston. This Boston episode shattered Biff's confidence in his father completely. The image of his hero, his ideal came to pieces when he saw his father in an incestuous relationship. It seemed as if Biff's life lost its balance and its centre. There was nothing left to hold on to. After this incident Biff lost all interest in his future career as well as studies.
The spirit of his life vanished and he unconsciously became a 'nomad'. The result was that he kept on changing jobs but was unable to find satisfaction. Well, I spent six or seven years after high school trying to work myself up.
Shipping clerk, salesman, business of one kind or another.