Death of a Salesman Essay

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"Death of A Salesman" Several characters influence Willy greatly and magnifiy certain aspects of his character. Biff, Happy, and Ben are three characters that greatly influence and affect Willy's personality. These characters represent well vulnerability, a lack of self-worth, and regret to Willy. The main representation of vulnerability for Willy is Biff. Biff brings out Willy's vulnerability by forcing him to recall harsh memories of his affair. Biff also challenges Willy, and forces Willy to live outside of his psuedo reality. In one line Willy says, "She’s nothing to me, Biff. I was lonely, I was terribly lonely"(1924), remembering Biff's discovery of his affair. This memory as well as the crash of reality force itself on Willy everytime he argues with Biff. Willy's lost aspirations for himself through his son also make Willy vulnerable. Willy constantly alludes to his hopes for Biff, "No, no, some people- some people accomplish something. Did Biff say anything after I went this morning?"(1871) and "Sure. Certain men just don't get started till later in life. Like Thomas Edison; I think. Or B.F. Goodrich. One of them was deaf. I'll put my money on Biff."(1873). Biff holds one of his father's greatest secrets, one of his largest dissapointments, and represents his main vulnerablity. Happy represents Willy's lack of self-worth. Willy constantly ignores Happy's accomplishment which are very similar to his own or his aspirations. "I’m losing weight, you notice, Pop?"(1879) Happy says this while doing bicycle kicks and Willy admonishes him saying "Jumping rope is good too"(1879). Willy denies Happy on another occasion denying him his own psuedo reality saying "You’ll retire me for life on seventy goddam dollars a week?"(1885). Willy's criticism of his son likely stems from criticisms of his own self. Happy continually seeks similar accomplishments and big

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