On “Death of a Salesman”

The play “Death of the Salesman” by Arthur Miller portrays certain conflicts that usually occur within a family. In Act One, there is conflict between Willy and his sons. Happy and Biff are two sons of Willy and Linda. Neither Biff nor Happy have a consistent job. His elder son Biff believes that his father is annoying because Willy always complains about his being lazy and not being settled with a proper job. Both of the sons didn’t have a good proper job, but why did Willy get infuriated with Biff? This is because Biff is the eldest, and his expectations from him were somewhat high. So when Biff couldn’t find a job even at the thirty four, this made Willy worry and his concerns turned into anger against Biff. They think Willy was crazy. Happy and Biff decided to borrow money from Bill Oliver to buy farmland and raise animals and produce vegetables, so that they can earn a lot of money.

Such type of conflicts can happen to several families. Usually our parents expects highly from us. Often times we fulfill it, and few times we fail to fulfill it. It is easy for them to expect from us, but they never realize the difficulties and rigors that we go through in order to fulfill their expectations. Not all dreams and visions can be accomplished.  Similarly, I think Willy should also understand Biffs’ situation. His not having a proper vocation is not because he didn’t try to find a job or he slept all day paying no attention to his career. He took several professions such as shipping clerk, salesman, keeping stroke, etc. Moreover, it was during the time of Great Depression where the economy of the world was in recession. Everybody might have faced the same problem of not having a constant occupation during that time.  Surprisingly, Willy himself wanted to become a successful salesman, but he was not able to acquire his dream. So how can he criticize Biff for not living up to his expectations? He should look at his own position and judge Biffs’ condition. Now, I am not saying that Biff should totally ignore his father’s wish. It would be great if he could achieve his father’s dream. But Biff is also in such a pathetic situation. He tried his best, but certain circumstances stopped him from living up to his father’s expectations.

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