The death of a salesman

Willy thinks that getting the new job is a sure thing since he wrongly sees himself as a valuable salesman. Biff has just returned home from working as a farmhand in the West. Willy thinks Biff could easily be rich and successful, but is wasting his talents and needs to get on track.

The death of a salesman

Characters[ edit ] William "Willy" Loman: He is 63 years old and unstable, insecure, and self-deluded. 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 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 The death of a salesman 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 false 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 store, but he is willing to cheat a little in order to do so, by taking bribes.

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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.

Arthur Miller

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.

The death of a salesman

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.

SparkNotes: Death of a Salesman: Plot Overview

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.

The fact that performances of Death of a Salesman have met with acclaim throughout the world testifies to its universality: the play’s conflicts and themes appear not to be uniquely American. Upset at his father’s unrelenting misconception that he, Biff, was a salesman for Oliver, Biff plans to relieve Willy of his illusions. Willy enters, and Biff tries gently, . Arthur Miller's play Death of a Salesman addresses loss of identity and a man's inability to accept change within himself and society. The play is a montage of memories, dreams, confrontations, and arguments, all of which make up .

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. Despite Biff's promising showing as an athlete in high school, he failed in mathematics and was unable to enter a university.New & Used Books from ThriftBooks | Buy Cheap Books Online20% Off Referral Discount · Books As Low As $ · Shop +13 Million BooksTypes: Edu & Reference, Lit & Fiction, Children's Books, Religion & Spirituality.

SparkNotes: Death of a Salesman

Willy Loman - Wikipedia. Death of a Salesman is a play by Arthur Miller that was first performed in Arthur Miller's play Death of a Salesman addresses loss of identity and a man's inability to accept change within himself and society.

The play is a montage of memories, dreams, confrontations, and arguments, all of which make up . The fact that performances of Death of a Salesman have met with acclaim throughout the world testifies to its universality: the play’s conflicts and themes appear not to be uniquely American.

“Death of a salesman” is an amazing classic in its true sense. It’s gripping, moving, touching and painful. In a world where everybody’s judged by his/her material accomplishments and investments, this profound piece of literature may be an alarming notion that what matters is not necessarily what one seeks or desires/5.

Death of a Salesman: Death of a Salesman Play Summary & Study Guide | CliffsNotes