The play consists of various characters that help to bring out the various themes portrayed in the piece. This text, therefore, discusses the characters and their contribution to the play.
Willy Loman: A Salesman
He is 63 years of age and emotionally as well as mentally unstable, self-deluded and insecure. He tends to re-live past events as if they existed in reality. He teeters between different episodes along with this life. He relies on other people for support in addition to his recurrent flashbacks to different moments within his professional career. The name “willy” resonates with his child-like characteristic in addition to an onomatopoeic similarity to “will he?”. His last name, Loman gives a feel of mar will be a “low man” in the eyes of the society and later on in the eyes of his son Biff.
Read more: Willy Loman Character Analysis
Linda Loman: This Is the Loving Wife to Willy
She is depicted as a loyal woman and is passively supportive of her husband. She is also docile in the presence of willy especially at the scene where he tells her about his unrealistic dreams for the future. However, she is quite aware of the situation on the ground. She also derides her sons; Biff in particular, for not being more supportive of willy. Linda tends to still stand by willy even in times when willy is disloyal to her. She is the one who realizes that willy has an issue and encourages Biff to try to make something out of his life.
Biff Loman: Willy’s Eldest Son
He used to be a promising football star while at high school. However, he failed in his math paper while at senior high school and eventually had to discontinue from summer school; it is during this time that he sees willy with the other woman during his visit to Boston. This puts him in a dilemma between going back home to fulfill willy’s dream or to go and pursue his interest in owning a farm. He is a guy whole loves the outdoors as well as manual labor. He also steals as a way of showing evidence for his facade of success. However, overall, Biff is still a realist and eventually informs his father that they are just normal people and he will never be a great man he thought he would be.
Read more: Biff Loman Character Analysis
Happy Loman: Younger Son of the Loman Family
He has mostly been out shadowed by his older brother and feels ignored. However, he tries to be useful to his family. He has a licentious lifestyle as a gallant womanizer and as aspires to move beyond his current occupation as an assistant to an assistant buyer within the local store. However, he is willing to be a bit corrupt. He accepts bribes and constantly seeks the approval of his parents but rarely gets it and can even go to extremes of creating false facts and scenarios to get attention.
Read more: Happy Loman Character Analysis
Charley: Loman’s Neighbor
He is quite kind and understanding. He has much pity for willy and frequently lends him cash whenever he goes broke. Sometimes he even comes over to his house to play cards. However, Willy still treats him poorly. He is secretly jealous of him due to his greater success in life.
Read more: Charley Character Analysis
Bernard: This Is Charley’s Son
In Loman’s flashbacks, he is depicted as nerdy. Willy pressures him to give Biff quiz answers. He is a sycophant to Biff and always does anything for him. He later becomes a prominent lawyer, marries a wife, and they are expecting a son. He makes his father contemplate what he did wrong as a parent.
Read more: Bernard Character Analysis
Ben Loman: The Elder Brother to Willy
He became a wealthy diamond trader after an expedition to Africa. Within the play, he is deceased and only exists as a memory. However, Willy still converses with him during his episodes of hallucination. Willy views him as a role model though he is not within his age group and has no significant relationship with him.
Read more: Ben Loman Character Analysis
The woman: A Woman with Whom Loman Had an Affair
She is an assistant at the company that Willy does business with. She claims that Willy destroyed her and did not fulfill his promises.
Howard: Willy’s Boss
Willy initially worked under his father and even named him when he was born. He fires willy because he sees no use for him.
Jenny: A Secretary
She gets disturbed when Willy comes to see her boss.
Miss Forsythe: A Young Prostitute
She is a young prostitute who is also Letta’s friend.
Letta: A Prostitute
She is a friend of Forsythe and also a prostitute
Stanley: A waiter at the restaurant
He is seemingly friends with Happy
Older Waiter: Worker at the Restaurant
Another waiter at the restaurant