Willy Loman is a very unique character, he is pathetic and a modern tragic hero. I think the problem comes mainly from his excessive daydreaming, and his view of the American Dream, which is to succeed in life by being attractive and well liked by society. He spent most of his life pursing a dream but failed. His determination and dedication in pursing something that failed greatly affected his family members. Through Willy’s actions, he affected the future of Biff and Happy by straying them in the wrong directions.
Willy and Biff always fight and argue due to Biff not living up to Willy’s expectations and also having yet to make anything out of himself. Happy and Biff try to help Willy, but every attempt always results in an argument. He believes he is well liked and popular but in reality nobody likes him and for that he is a small man. The interactions between Willy, Linda, Biff and Happy are usually never happy or normal. They always fight and argue with each other. Biff and Willy always have conflicts about getting a life and making money. Willy complains that Biff is nobody and as a result he doesn’t listen to Biff’s point of view.
Instead, he makes fast and irrational conclusions such as not letting Biff talk about his visit to Oliver “Biff: His answer was- Dad, you’re not letting me tell you what I want to tell you! Willy: You didn’t see him, did you? Biff: I did see him! Willy: What’d you insult him or something? You insulted him, didn’t you? Biff: Listen, will you let me out of it, will you just let me out of it! ” (Page 108-109) In turn, Biff gets angry that Willy doesn’t listen and never gives him a chance to say anything, and a conflict occurs. Willy doesn’t even let Linda comment on anything, instead he yells at her.
Linda: Oliver always though the highest of him- Willy: Will you let me talk? Biff: Don’t yell are her, Pop, will ya? ” (Page 65) Linda was trying to support Biff about going to Oliver for a job only to show Willy that Biff is actually trying to do something with his life. I believe that in Willy’s mind, he thought that Biff and Happy are great kids and going to be very successful, but in reality his sons were the opposite. He would never listen because it was hard for him to see a smart person like Bernard doing better than Biff and Happy.
He would only try to think differently to convince himself that his sons were the best and going to live better than Bernard. If Willy took the time to listen to his family and friends, and be open to everyone’s advice and opinions, he might have not committed suicide. He is a very selfish person and ignored reality. He tried to make things better than they were which the opinions he choose which led to his destruction. Willy talks to himself a lot throughout the play; he daydreams about being successful and well liked at the end by creating a false image. In reality, he is unsuccessful and nobody likes him. Linda: Why didn’t anybody come? Charley: It was a very nice funeral Linda: But where are all the people he knew? Maybe they blame him” (Requiem) Nobody even went to his funeral because they don’t know Willy anymore despite working for the Wagner firm for 34 years.
Willy is jealous of Charlie’s success, every week he would find himself asking Charley for money. Willy thinks he is a much better man than Charley, but in fact he is just jealous that he is living a better life than he is. Even when Charley is nice enough to lend Willy money, he still gets mad at the smallest comments that Charley makes, like offering him a job. Charley: Why don’t you want to work for me? Willy: What’s the matter with you? I’ve got a job. Charley: Then what’re you walkin’ in here every week for? Willy: Well, if you don’t want me to walk in here- Charley: I am offering you a job Willy: I don’t want your goddam job! Charley: When the hell are you going to grow up? ” (Page 96-97) Willy is a closed minded, and a self centred person, he doesn’t want to accept the fact that Charlie’s life is much better than his. I believe that Willy makes many sacrifices; one main one would be a good future.
He aimed way to high and failed miserably. Linda knew what Willy’s situation is and is very supportive. “Willy: You’re my foundation and my support, Linda. Linda: Just try to relax, dear. You make mountains out of molehills. ” (Page 18) The American Dream has deceived him, now he works on commission and eventually fired by Howard, Biff is a failure in his eyes and Charley is a successful man. He failed to raise his sons accordingly and his strong beliefs were just delusions. Is Willy a small man? I truly believe that he is, his aims in life have been useless and hasn’t achieved anything.
He is even abandoned by his two only sons at the restaurant. Happy even told the two girls that he picked up wasn’t even his father. “Letta: Don’t you want to tell your father- Happy: No, that’s not my father. He’s just a guy. Come on,” (Page 115) Biff no long respects Willy after his affair, Willy Loman finds himself less capable in every aspect, financially and mentally. He wants his sons to be successful and better of than he is, but he corrupted them. Although they will never be successful, I truly think that Willy did the best he could, although he delayed their future by giving them a false image.
Willy Loman is truly a “low man”, he has a very low self-esteem, in my opinion his goals are great only if he becomes a reality but what he doesn’t realize, is that there would be devastation if he doesn’t succeed. He was the main motivator of the family being dysfunctional. Linda is angry that Happy and Biff doesn’t respect Willy and shows no worries for his actions and behaviour. Biff doesn’t respect Willy anymore because of the constant pressure he puts on him, and also because of an affair he has with another women.
I personally don’t think that Willy is a crazy and inane man, but I certainly don’t think that he is normal either. Willy Loman is just a confused man that took his goals one step to far, and by the time he realized it, it was too late. He believed that life is worth nothing anymore. I believed that he tried to make his goals worth something instead of nothing by killing himself, so that the insurance money would go to his family and some how help them. Therefore Willy Loman goals and dreams ultimately led to his destruction.