William Willy Loman: Character Analysis
William Willy Loman appears in the death of a salesman as a sixty-year-old salesman of very unstable nature. From the nature of events, we learn that he lives a virtual life based on past events. This phenomenon renders him a man full of different and contradicting perceptions in life. His imaginations and fantasies foresee will develop into a man of childlike behavior and aspects who largely rely on other people for his survival. Among the aspects that he widely depends on, Linda his beloved wife stops at nothing in making sure that his husband is okay. She remains docile and supportive even when Willy seems to be in his fantasy world. Many are times when Willy keeps on making unrealistic views especially in his eminent hope for the future.
This phenomenon creates a lot of controversies among his two sons; Biff and happy. Willy in this film is depicted as an individual who faces one abandonment after another. For instance, he disconnects from reality when he expects his family to have a conformation to the American dream majorly due to his fear of abandonment. This is caused by his will and efforts to rise Biff as a perfect son causing him to disconnect from reality.
Another strategy used by Willy is the belief that his sons especially Biff should not betray his hopes and ambitions in relation to fulfilling their promise to him. Willy takes Biff’s action of walking out on ambitions that were created by his father as an insult or even spite occasionally referring to it as a personal affront.
Willy’s involvement in actions of betrayal counts as other strategies portraying the disconnections between these two individuals. He is involved in adulterous deeds that cannot be accepted and still hopes that his connection with his family could remain the same. Willy’s reaction towards Biff provokes further disconnection between these two parties regardless of their relationship.
Willy has to always talk to himself. This comes in especially when he sets into conversing with his long-dead elder brother, Ben. Their mother keeps on constantly warning the two brothers on accommodating the difficult situation exempted by their father. Though happy is a bit-oriented at the same, biff still shuns his father’s principles especially when he converses with Ben as though he were alive. Their father initially looked upon his elder rich brother who was prosperous in the diamond industry. Willy’s reactions and changes in behavior can be attributed to his will to emotionally disconnect from her.
Such kind of fantasies and unrealistic targets render him in an accident, which foresees her wife’s search for his transfer nearer to his home and beloved ones. This is a resultant of the above-discussed relationship and bears bitter fruits. Never the less, Willy is finally fired after working for a long time without success. His life well-characterized by failure prompts him to accord all the weight and responsibilities t his son biff. Their contradicting principles foresee their misunderstanding and disconnection altogether. Biff was a mere athlete and a football star that was highly looked upon in high school. He ended up failing in mathematics and his future was defiantly doomed from his father’s point of view.
Apparently, Biff believes that he is a mere boy but tries to impress his father contrary to his wishes. He goes on with a business proposition endeavor of which he fails, prompting more shuns from his father. His father had always wished for his son to be like his age mate Bernard. Charley their neighbor was Bernard’s father who always looked upon helping will from his mental and physical state. His interaction games and money made no impact on changing Willy who was always jealous of Bernard. Bernard was a success when it came to career aspects, he was a lawyer had a son and a loving wife; all aspects that biff never had.
Death of a salesman. Dir. Volker Schlöndorff. Perf. Dustin Hoffman. 1985.