Death of a Salesman - Father-Son Relationships - words | Study Guides and Book Summaries
Nothing can describe better the theme of strained father-son relationship, Miller so passionately explores in his plays like 'Death of a Salesman'. Essay on Death of a Salesman - Father-Son Relationships to Arthur Miller's novel, Death of a Salesman, the interaction of Willy and his sons, Happy and Biff, . The study focuses on the father -son relationship in one of the best plays of Miller Death of a Salesman (). Though the play dramatises the last day in the life.
His father was a white German immigrant who never lived with the family and rarely made an appearance. Later on, David Bedford, an ex-convict whose race prevented him from getting a football scholarship became Wilson's stepfather.
August was a teenager then and the relationship between the father and son was rocky and turbulent. He has a teenaged son, named Cory with whom he has a fractured father-son relationship.Death of a Salesman and the American Dream
He is consumed with bitterness and is convinced that if you are a black man, "you born with two strikes on you before you come to the plate. This is one place where he can assert and find comfort in the fact that he is in control. His family, especially his son Cory pays a price to keep him happy thus. Willy wants to make it big in the world of sales and fails miserably. Unable to accept the reality of his position, he turns into a shell of a man; totally incapable to play out his responsibilities as a wise energetic father.
Hence, both the plays deal with abnormal psychology of the protagonists, leading to disastrous consequences. I'm a dime a dozen, and so are you! Actually, Willy never paid much attention to Happy as he had few expectations from him.
Father-Son Relationship In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman - PDF
As a result of this, Happy, in reality, fails to achieve much in life and keeps lying to Willy about his supposed success. He fought it out here, and this where I'm gonna win it for him. This is an indication that Happy has failed to take a leaf out of the tragic life of his father.
He denies them everything they like or feel good about. He strongly disagrees with Rose who likes to play numbers. Afraid I was gonna be better than you. All you ever did was try and make me scared of you. The Depression years, particularly saw fragility of American families as a rising social problem.
Miller and Wilson were very well aware of this fact.
The struggle between the father and son over conflicting visions, aspirations and values is the fulcrum and the axis around which the two plays revolve. 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.
Father-Son Relationships in Death of a Salesman by Brian Dunning on Prezi
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.
And it s a measly manner of existence. Miller 16 5 However, the basic reason behind such a nomadic life was only one - that all his ideals, values proved to be fake and false.
His father, the epitome of these ideals, was a cheat. Biff lost all respect for his father and called him a "liar However, he didn't reveal his father's extra - marital affair to his mother. But after this incident Biff started arguing and disrespecting his father. Willy on the other hand felt guilty but never apologised. Rather he kept on pressurising Biff for trying jobs in the business field. He knew that Biff has become aimless in life because of him. He often realised that he, himself, was to be blamed for Biff's failures and his unsuccessful career.
But his false pride never let him accept this. He tried to find faults in Biff's personality. Therefore, this was a stage where there were accusations as well as arguments from both sides.
As a result, Biff started leaving home and living somewhere else with the changing jobs. He kept on changing addresses as well. During this stage the relationship between father and son suffered a communication gap too. On the other hand, Happy, though living at home, tried to impress his father.
Thou gh he too was not very successful, but like his father he also made false impressions on others and became a fake show-off. In most cases it is the oldest son that is being favoured while the younger son is ignored. Because Willy has dreams of grandeur for Biff, Miller subtly shows how Happy is overlooked. Biff is the favourite son of Willy and when he was growing up, Biff had idolized his father and Willy had thought Biff could do no wrong.
Willy believes and makes Biff believe that any one so confident, so gorgeous is certain to attain success in life. However, at one stage, there relationship collapsed.
Father-Son Relationship In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman
But Willy bears a good opinion regarding Biff and always believes that Biff has the ability to develop a business of his own. The reasons for this are numerous and can be demonstrated in different ways. Miller is able to give an example of this behavior through the actions of Willy Loman. When Biff comes home to recollect himself, Willy perceives it as failure. Since Willy desperately wants his oldest son, Biff, to succeed in every way possible, he tries to take matters into his own hands.
He could be big in no time" The reason that Biff came home is to find out what he wants in life. Because Willy gets in the way, matters become more complicated. Willy believes that working on the road by selling is the greatest job a man could have Biff, however, feels the most inspiring job a man could have is working outdoors