Death of a Salesman – Willy Loman
Willy Loman: Failure of a Man
In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is an example of a failure as a good father. He did not discipline his sons well by not punishing them. He did not set a good example to his sons by not admitting his faults. He did not make his family his number one priority. Instead, it was his work, coming before his family, his friends, and even himself. Not only is Willy Loman not a good father and husband, but he was a failure by not becoming successful, not achieving the American Dream.
Willy is not a good father for many reasons. He made his occupation his number one priority. For years, he traveled for his work many times that he never had the opportunity to truly get to know his own sons. As a result he did not love them as a father should, his love for his son, Biff, was based on his achievements as an athlete. And when Biff was not able to go to University of Virginina, Willy was so devastated that he no longer loved Biff how he once did before. He was disgusted that Biff had become a bum, Biff had different jobs working at farms. Willy wants Biff to be the successful man that he never was and feels that Biff will not achieve success in the occupation he has taken. Furthermore, Willy was unable to admit his faults. His pride was so great that he even lied to his own family, borrowing money weekly from his neighbor, Charley, and then saying it was his salary. He tried to justify his affair with a strange woman when caught by Biff. He did not admit that he had made mistakes because he did not want to sacrifice his pride. Solely, Willy failed to be a good father. Instead, as a father, he was a pathetic and selfish failure.
Willy was not a good example of a role model. He was never successful, even in his prime, yet he lived in a daydream of the “good old days”, refusing to accept reality. He was not respected, even by his sons, and most frequently was disregarded by those around him. Even at his funeral, the only people who attended were his wife, his two sons, Charley and his son. He never achieved the love of those he interacted with, never gained any honor, and completed his life as a failure, never gaining success in business or in life.
Finally, Willy failed greatly at achieving the American Dream. People have come to the United States hoping for a life of happiness and success, at the same time, hoping to take pride in what they do and enjoy it. Willy did not achieve the American Dream. He had no pride in what he did, although he hid these emotions. I believe he was so embarrassed because he could not make a single sale or earn a single dollar that he began borrowing fifty dollars a week from Charley, and then pretended it was his salary. He lied to his family and to himself. He did not allow himself to do what he truly wanted to do because he believed that it was more remarkable to be supposedly successful. He therefore failed miserably at the true American Dream, exchanging it for an unattainable fantasy.
Willy Loman was a failure as a family man who never achieved the American Dream. His life is an example of a true downfall, which affects all of those close to him. By living in an illusion, Willy guaranteed that he would be unable to achieve all that he thought he should. As a result, his death is the final confirmation of his failed life. Truly, success could never be achieved in his life, even if he had made plenty of sales. By giving up his dreams and true desires, Willy Loman died long before he crashed his car, and that led him to become every bit the failure that he will always be remembered as.