Charley Character Analysis in Death of a Salesman
Charley is the next-door neighbor to Willy Loman and is depicted as his only friend in Death of a salesman. Charley and Loman have a warm relationship depicted on the scene whereby they are playing cards. Charley has a good understanding of willy and is aware of his motivations much better than any other character in the play.
Who Is Charley in Death of a Salesman: Understanding His Significance
Charley together with his son does not have any of Willy’s zeal or ambition. However, they are significantly more successful that will. Charley’s son goes by the name Bernard. Bernard is also a good friend to Loman’s sons Happy and Biff. In one flashback episode, Bernard is seen expressing great concern about Biff’ future after his failure in his high school math class. This was a sign of genuine friendship.
When Loman one day bumps into an all grown Bernard while at Charley’s office, he is perplexed by beard’s success, he has become a high profile attorney, who is bound to argue a case at the supreme court. Meanwhile, willy’s sons are underachievers. Both Bernard and Charley have attained their success through sheer hard work, while Loman and his sons constantly talk big but have nothing to show for it.
Will is somewhat content with his son’s immorality and brags to Charley about the amount of lumber his sons brought him from a certain nearby construction site. Biff is also some kind of a kleptomaniac at his jobs. He has lost several jobs and had even once served a 3-month jail term. Charley understands that willy’s sons are a product of their upbringing, and therefore shows concern for them despite their actions.
The relationship between willy and Charley is that of resentment. Loman secretly resents Charley’s success. He boasts to him that he will one day own his personal business one-day stating that he will even be bigger than Charley. This is because Charley is not so popular. Willy places much emphasis on popularity; he even states how he owns a better refrigerator than Charley.
At the onset of the play, willy experienced a reduction in his pay yet Charley still lends him money to cover his daily expenses. Even during his funeral, Charley still defends Willly’s action. This shows that he was his ultimate true friend.
Death of a Salesman Characters: