 Character Analysis

Willy Loman Willy is the main character of the play. A sixty year old salesman living in Brooklyn, Willy Loman grows increasingly insane throughout Death of A Salesman. However, after thirty-five years working as a traveling salesman throughout New England, Willy Loman feels defeated by his lack of success and difficult family life. Charley says something in Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman He Willy

that sums up Willys whole life. He asks him, "When the hell are you going to grow up?" Willy spends his entire life in an illusion. sees himself as a great man that is popular and successful. exhibits many childlike qualities. impact on Willys family. behavior from their father.

Many of these qualities have an

His two sons Biff and Happy pick up this He is idealistic, stubborn, and he has a

false sense of his importance in the world. Despite his efforts, it becomes clear that Willy Loman is not popular, well liked, or even good at his job. In fact, he was never was. In all likelihood, he never will be. Now an older man, Willy can no longer drive competently, pay his bills, or sell anything. It is not surprising that Willy contradicts himself when speaking in the present about Biff or to him, for although Willy chooses to remember Biff as he used to be, he cannot eradicate the words Biff spoke to him in Boston: “You fake! You phony little fake!” Willy perceives himself as a failure: He is not Dave Single man. He is just a mediocre salesman who has only made monumental sales in his imagination. Now that he is growing old and less productive, the company he helped to build fires him. He regrets being unfaithful to his wife, even though he will never admit the affair to her. He is no longer a respectable man in Biff’s eyes. Biff recognizes Willy’s

” he severs himself from Willy because he openly refuses to live by Willy’s philosophy any longer. Once Biff states that “We never told the truth for ten minutes in this house. particularly his memories. Biff is relieved once he realizes who he is and what he wants. He did this primarily out of spite after finding out that his father was having an affair with a woman in Boston. stealing at every job and even spending time in jail.tendency to exaggerate or reconstruct reality and is no longer a willing participant in Willy’s fantasy Despite Willy's evident failure to meet his (poorly chosen) life goals. Biff still has great concern for what his father thinks of him. Biff has been a continual failure. Biff. and tormented by his failures. though he has a dutiful wife. Choosing to alienate his son rather than face reality. Despite his failures and anger toward his father. He has deceived himself his entire life and tries to live vicariously through his unwilling son. throughout the play by the conflict between this two characters. after refusing to attend summer school to make up a flunked math class. But he never attended college nor graduated from high school. Biff was once a star high school athlete with a scholarship to UVA. he clings to a fierce belief in the American Dream and the promise that anyone attractive and well liked can make it big. Willy spirals downward. Biff Loman The thirty-four year old son of Willy Loman. He drives Willy ’s actions and thoughts. But Biff uncovers Willy's lies when he finds out that Willy has been cheating on Linda. . Since then. as opposed to who Willy thinks he should be and who Biff needs to pretend to be in order to please him. Biff is different from Willy because he does finally accept and embrace the fact that he has been living a lie all of his life.

still. Happy savors the knowledge that he has “ruined” women engaged to men he works for and also despises. “I hate myself for it. He has seduced the fiancées of three executives just to gain a perception of pleasure and power. Happy grew up listening to Willy embellish the truth. Because I don’t want the girl. Happy Loman is seemingly content and successful. Linda Loman The dutiful. This is Willy’s philosophy all over again. He states. Happy lies and tells everyone he is the assistant buyer. but even more than that. Instead of admitting he is an assistant to the assistant. so it is not surprising that Happy exaggerates his position in order to create the illusion of success. The younger of the two Loman sons. whose hallucinations and erratic behavior she contends with alone. despite his often reprehensible treatment of her. Willy’s life revolves around his attempt to forget his affair with the Woman. and sexual interludes are the defining moments of both of their lives. occasionally stern and not afraid to confront her sons about their poor treatment of their father. while Happy’s life revolves around an activ e pursuit of affairs with many women. She is the moral center of the play. He incorporates his father’s habit of manipulating reality in order to create situations that are more favor-able to him. Happy also relishes the fact that “respectable” women cannot resist him.Happy Loman Happy is a young version of Willy. Linda Loman is the one person who supports Willy Loman. obedient wife to Willy and mother of Biff and Happy. with a steady career and none of the obvious marks of failure that his older brother appearances. . I take it and—I love it!” Happy is similar to Willy in two ways. Both deny their positions and exaggerate details in order to aggrandize them-selves. He thrives on sexual gratification. She is a woman who has aged greatly because of her difficult life with her husband. and.