Death of a Salesman Character Analysis Essay



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Death of a Salesman Character Analysis Essay

In his play, Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, Biff and Happy are always struggling to cope with the changes in their family as their father’s hindering sickness progresses. One of the main conflicts in this story is between what Willy believes his boys should be doing as a career, and the actual careers that they have taken up. In Willy’s eyes, Biff has made nothing of himself due to the fact that he is not a salesman, which is what Willy desires for him to be. As Biff is constantly struggling to get his family to realize and understand that everyone is not destined to be a salesman, Happy continually is contradicting Biff’s. Happy’s inability to accept the changes occurring in their family hinders and hurts the Loman family from progressing in the future.

One of the main problems that Happy contributes to is that he is unable to completely accept that Willy Loman is not the man he use to be in the past. He finds it difficult to realize that as Willy gets older his mental health is slowly diminishing, along with his success as a salesman. In Act II of the play when Happy and Biff take Willy out to dinner, Biff tries to explain how Willy is trying to kill himself. Happy denies Biff’s realization and says, “He’s just a little overstrung, he’ll be alright” (1934). Later in the play at the requiem, at Willy’s funeral, Biff tells his family and Charley that Willy always had the wrong dreams. In an angered outburst, Happy yells at Biff, “Don’t say that” (1947), as he is still trying to defend his father’s inadequate aspirations. One of the main issues and problems is that the Loman family needs to deal with accepting that Willy has lost control of his life and his career. Instead of trying to lead his family into healing and making them accept the truth, there is also the problem when Happy continues to deny the changes that happened to their family, which is continuing to prolong their suffering for the reason that they never got any closure.

A major theme that Arthur Miller tried to convey was that in order to be prosperous, you have to be willing and ready to adapt in a changing society. At the present time Happy directly contradicts this theme due to the fact that he is so determined to make a respectable name for his family, even though his means of doing that may be just a little old fashioned, and not gaining any success. During the times when the Loman’s saw Willy’s health getting worse, Willy continued to hold onto his dreams of being a great salesman. Biff constantly tried to convince his family that you could be successful in other careers, not just as a salesman, but Happy embraced Willy’s false belief that his career could be saved. Happy also began to







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