He works long hours at a job he’s not good at and doesn’t truly enjoy, and he expects this kind of life for his sons. As Biff continues to not live up to his expectations, they clash constantly Biff’s failure to live his father’s dream life causes Willy to express constant disappointment in the man he’s become. Willy raised him to grow up sailing through life, believing that he can get by on being well-liked and admired. When this never culminates in the life Biff wanted, he has no idea of the direction he needs to go in. He can never hold down a job and develops a kleptomania habit.
Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” is a tragic story of Willy Loman, the father of what can be considered a typical American family. Willy’s father was never there to teach him the importance of tradition, values, or healthy opinions. Willy has spent his whole life chasing the American dream of wealth and posterity working as a salesman. Now in his sixty’s he is suffering from memory loss, he has lost his job, and has no financial security. He never knew his father so he doesn’t have a good sense of his own identity, he makes poor decisions in raising his son’s by instilling a false sense of what it takes to be successful, and allows them to steal and cheat.
Parents of the 1700's had different parenting values then the parents of today. Lord Chesterfield's letter to his traveling son, whom is traveling all around England, is a prime example of this. At first, Chesterfield seems full of doubt, wondering if his letter will even be of any help to his son. However, later on, the letter shifts into a seemingly threatning tone, telling his son that he needs to treat life like a competition and be better then everybody. With the use of understatement and irony, the letter states his values as a loving, yet strict father who only wants his son to succeed and nothing more.
This indicates that he lacks the love from his real father. The boy tries to live up to his fathers expectations, and has a strong bond to his father. Loyalty and being true to your closest is also an important element of the boys behaviour, he protects his father no matter what, and that is a crucial part of the boy´s mental state in this short story. The boy is naive and has high thoughts of his father, these thoughts are shown through the boys’ actions and delighted comments. The boy protects his father when his mother speaks badly of him.
More than anyone, a boy needs his father to approve of him and teach him how to be a man. Well, his father did not show him the love he required growing up. In all of Paul’s efforts to please his father, he was ignored and inadequate to his father’s expectations. In fact, his father praised a young man that worked as a clerk and insisted that Paul ought to be more like that gentleman. His father refused to give Paul money and argued that he has a job, so he can pay his own expenses.
Willy’s blind faith in his stunted version of the American Dream leads to his rapid psychological decline when he is unable to accept the disparity between the Dream and his own life. Abandonment Willy’s life charts a course from one abandonment to the next, leaving him in greater despair each time. Willy’s father leaves him and Ben when Willy is very young, leaving Willy neither a tangible (money) nor an intangible (history) legacy. Ben eventually departs for Alaska, leaving Willy to lose himself in a warped vision of the American Dream. Likely a result of these early experiences, Willy develops a fear of abandonment, which makes him want his family to conform to the American Dream.
Explain, using examples from the video and course concepts, how Jim’s self-concept impacted his interaction with his father. Was it positive or negative? Jim believed that he was doing his best in school and felt that his parents had unrealistic expectations for him. Jim’s conversation with his Dad made him feel as if he was not doing enough and that his Dad was just being negative by blaming his grades on his friends and partying. 3.
Delusions of Grandeur – An Expository Essay Death of a Salesman Willy Loman’s greatest weakness – and the reason of his unhappiness lie in the facade he has created within himself. Without a father figure to instill reason in him and leave a legacy of any kind, he fixates himself upon the only character that will leave him a lasting impression – his enigmatic brother Ben. As a result, the ideals imbued in young Willy – money, recognition, and ambition, lead him to accept a warped version of The American Dream: the belief that being well-liked and respected warrant success. However, when he fails to sell these values to his young son Biff, he discovers just how disparate dreams and reality are, and brings down his entire family along with himself. Willy’s beliefs and actions stem from his fear of being alone.
However, ironically, Biff does flunk that math test, which would not allow him to graduate from high school and attend university. Willy’s effect on Biff is the source of this “false pride” as mentioned by Howard. When Willy says, “Be liked and you’ll never want”, it again reinforces his value for popularity and attractiveness. These two concepts are also the causes of Willy’s need to be “well liked”. Being Well Liked Motif Willy is at the bottom of the totem pole in a capitalistic world.
Parents owe their children the duty to encourage them to perform well in their areas of interest or in their pursuits. I can relate the article by Amy Chua to the “Death of a Salesman”. In the book, Willy wants his son Biff to be a successful salesman. He wants him to get a well-paying job and he nags at him all day to find a steady job. As Biff’s abilities do not match his father's expectations, he is unable to fulfill his father’s high hopes of a brilliant career in sales.