Miller makes Requiem a moving and appropriate ending in many appealing ways. This ending of his reveals the even more strenuous situation of Willy. Although the audiences have known him as a salesman with no glorious achievement in life but with a conclusion like this, the funeral highlights the focus on Willy’s isolation and failure. Furthermore, it also issues the doubt in the vague American Dream of our departed salesman.
It appears that at Willy’s funeral, there was only his loyal wife Linda; his two beloved sons: Biff, Happy; and Charley with his boy Bernard. Yes, his only friend who’s at the funeral was Charley-the man that was yelled, swore at by Willy throughout the whole play. However he ended up being the only one Willy can go to and ask for help, for money. It is shown that Charley is the one who cares and keeps on offering Willy a job but what he gets is always rejection. In this final scene, Miller clarifies to the audience about how much Charley comprehends the job of a salesman in this kind of world, especially the one like Willy.
Charley Death Of A Salesman Essay Sample
The Death Of A Salesman
Death of a salesman Death of a salesman Death of a salesman
Specifically, Charley says: “For a salesman, there’s no rock bottom to the life”. The connotation of “rock bottom” is the lowest level. This suggests that for a salesman like Willy, it doesn’t matter what his social status is, he just have to get down low and serves his job. “He’s a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine” The color blue means hope. This indicates that Willy was a person with the desire of reaching success.
But to do that “a smile and a shoeshine” are what it takes. A smile refers to the fact that he must always be delighted and satisfies what customers need in order to sell his products. “Shoeshine” is the act of polishing one’s shoes. To many people, this job is low and “cheap”. Link back to the salesman’s circumstances, his position is low, the lowest; all of this highlights Willy’s sacrifice just so his dream would come true.
However, “it comes with the territory”, the unavoidable result. Maybe Willy just was not in luck. Or maybe he was just a little man, unable to handle such gigantic pressure. That’s life, with the reckless society, which only place strain on our shoulder.
Charley is not the only one who understands Willy’s predicament, but so does Biff. He appears to be wiser, more sagacious and sensible through his words. Biff knows precisely his father’s situation: “The man didn’t know who he was.” – he said. As the audience, we are already aware of that all the way through the story. Biff signifies that Willy “had the wrong dreams.
All, all wrong”. While it is beyond doubt that Willy’s destination, where he aims to is the wrong way. However it is vague to no one but him. He kept on heading blindly so this is the end of everything. Thankfully, Biff realizes the mistaken error in his father’s life.
Biff knows that there’s more of Willy when he “makes the stoop, finishing the cellar; putting on the new porch; when he built the extra bathroom; and put up the garage.” This specifies that Willy “was so wonderful with his hands”. He should have chosen the path that was right for him. In spite of that, Happy has the total contradict point of view. He still believes that Willy had a good dream. “It’s the only dream you can have – to come out number-one man.”
This illustrates the lack of understanding of Happy towards Willy. He does not recognize his father’s real strength. His perception on the job of a salesman and the sort of society that he is living in is limit. Lesson but be learnt following the death of his father. However, Happy didn’t seem to acknowledge that.
He still wants to “show everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vain.” It is a foolish thing to do, as we all know, the percentage is high that he might as well end up regretting the failure of his life. “Like father, like son.” But unlike his brother, the Biff that we know decides to get away from the city of cruelty, dishonesty and also known as the dog-eat-dog world.
About Linda, she has been faithful and stands by Willy’s side through everything yet she still cannot understand his action. Throughout the whole Requiem, Linda keeps repeating: “I can’t understand it.” This suggests that the unexpected death of Willy happened in the blink of an eye left her clueless and most of all shatter in sorrow. The unintelligible, ironic fact is that his family was just “about free and clear.”
That is what really confuses her. She thought Willy only needed a little salary but that’s not the big picture Linda is looking at. She is the one to provide Willy with supports but his death finally gave her nothing but uncertainty. It has always been Willy’s dream to be a successful salesman. He yearns for it that he is almost hypnotized by the dream that is beyond his reach.
Linda does not get it because the business world is complicated and she is just one loyal wife, who utterly loves her husband.
Therefore it consumes her. “Help me, Willy, I can’t cry. It seems to me that you’re just on another trip. I keep expecting you.” What Linda said implies that in the old days, Willy kept on traveling for his job. As for Linda, she’s just an ordinary housewife, who stays home and does her chores and waits for Willy one day to another.
She cannot cry because it’s the agony that is too painful for her. It eats her up on the inside that no tears can help. But just the sobbing of Linda is the communication of her sadness.
Lastly, the notion of the American Dream is what obsessed Willy ever since he starts being a salesman. Willy’s concept of being a successful salesman is to be well-liked. He spent his whole life obligated to fulfill his dream, his fallacious dream. To be exact, he didn’t have a chance to choose right from wrong. It’s the American society that guides him there.
At the end, he ended up finding himself in the middle of nowhere, falling out of his dream, the dream that never suited Willy Loman. Moreover, Willy was inspired by his idol, Dave Singleman, once a glorious salesman. He left Willy with the fantasy of an ultimate job. Our little man thought he would have accomplished it and had a marvelous life. But no he did not.
Dave Singleman died the death of a salesman. Willy Loman also died the death of a salesman. But their funerals aren’t the same. One was filled with hundreds of salesman and buyers. One is solitary with the presence of family members, and a friend.
These details are enough to explicate the isolation and the collapse of Willy’s life.
When the play finally reaches its end, “only the music of the flute is left on the darkening stage as over the house the hard towers of the apartment buildings rise into sharp focus.” Music of the flute is the instrument that Willy’s father can play. This shows us the reminiscence of everything that has passed. The lightning of stage is dark indicates the misery that Willy’s family is suffering through. Finally, the stage emphasizes the apartment buildings as a beautiful memories for our characters, remind them of what they have been through, both joyful and tough times. This is a lesson to learn by heart and also a tribute to our tragic hero, Willy Loman.
In conclusion, through our characters’ speech, acting and the stagecraft, Arthur Miller has successfully formed such emotional and suitable ending for the play. Willy’s miss-choosing of his dream is demonstrated accurately in Death of the Salesman. It is also specially highlighted in the Requiem. “Requiem” means “a Mass for the repose of the souls of the dead”. Therefore this is a totally appropriate ending for the play as Willy’s death has just occurred.
Death of the Salesman left behind the explanation for the corruption of Willy’s life and his broken American Dream.