The theme of Fathers and Sons in Death of a Salesman from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
The study focuses on the father-son relationship in one of the best plays of Miller – Death of a Salesman (). Though the play dramatises the last day in the. Relationships between Father and Son in Miller's Death of a Salesman The aim of this thesis is to analyze relationships between father and sons in Arthur. The study focuses on the father -son relationship in one of the best plays of Miller Death of a Salesman (). Though the play dramatises the last day in the life.
Father-Son Relationship In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman - PDF
When Bernard warned Willy that Biff would fail in the exams, Willy suggested Bernard to give the answers to Biff during the exams. Moreo ver he told Biff that in future it is for sure that Biff would be five times ahead of Bernard.
The reason being, simply, that Bernard didn't have an impressive personality. Bernard can get the best marks in school, y'understand, but when he gets out in the business world, y'understand, you are going to be five times ahead of him.
That's why I thank Almighty God you're both built like Adonises. Miller 25 The second stage of their relationship began when both Biff and Happy grew up and stepped out of their school premises and entered the competitive and practical American World, where each was trying to become successful and carve out a space for himself. Just at the beginning of this stage something happened that changed the father-son relationship completely.
As it has been mentioned earlier also, Happy's relationship with Willy is presented on a secondary level. The actual father -son relationship that is in limelight, in the play, is Willy and Biff's relationship. Therefore this incident is also related to Willy and Biff.
Biff once caught his father, red -handed, cheating on his mother while on a business -trip to Boston. This Boston episode shattered Biff's confidence in his father completely. The image of his hero, his ideal came to pieces when he saw his father in an incestuous relationship. It seemed as if Biff's life lost its balance and its centre.
There was nothing left to hold on to. After this incident Biff lost all interest in his future career as well as studies. The spirit of his life vanished and he unconsciously became a 'nomad'. The result was that he kept on changing jobs but was unable to find satisfaction.
Well, I spent six or seven years after high school trying to work myself up. Shipping clerk, salesman, business of one kind or another. And it s a measly manner of existence. Miller 16 5 However, the basic reason behind such a nomadic life was only one - that all his ideals, values proved to be fake and false. His father, the epitome of these ideals, was a cheat. Biff lost all respect for his father and called him a "liar However, he didn't reveal his father's extra - marital affair to his mother.
But after this incident Biff started arguing and disrespecting his father. Willy on the other hand felt guilty but never apologised. Rather he kept on pressurising Biff for trying jobs in the business field. He knew that Biff has become aimless in life because of him.
He often realised that he, himself, was to be blamed for Biff's failures and his unsuccessful career. But his false pride never let him accept this.
He tried to find faults in Biff's personality. Therefore, this was a stage where there were accusations as well as arguments from both sides.
Father-Son Relationship In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman
As a result, Biff started leaving home and living somewhere else with the changing jobs. He kept on changing addresses as well.
During this stage the relationship between father and son suffered a communication gap too.
On the other hand, Happy, though living at home, tried to impress his father. Thou gh he too was not very successful, but like his father he also made false impressions on others and became a fake show-off. He, also, lied to his parents about his position in the office. The final stage of the father-son relationship reached its climax during the last day of Willy Loman's life.
This is the actual day which the play picturises. Biff has turned thirty-four and yet he is unsure of what he wants in life. He is yet exploring his possibilities. During all these years Biff had made a journey to find himself; to find the 'real' Biff. He realised that he is a man of the fields and the business world as well as its coded behaviour is not his cup of tea.
Biff also realised that he had been brought up on false ideals and that it wasn't necessary that a person who is well-liked, popular and has an impressive personality will surely succeed in life.
He understood that his real talents lie in his interests in creative manual labour. However, the irony was that Biff made a journey to self-realisation while Willy was unsuccessful in doing so. This led to the actual clash between the father and the son. Willy is not ready to accept his as well as his sons failures.
He still harbours false 6 hopes. Thus he loses his mental peace and stability. Half the time he is lost into imaginary conversations and is unable to differentiate between real and imaginary. Biff loses patience at his father's deteriorating mental state and thinks that accepting the truth and facing reality is the only possible solution. Therefore, he attempts to show his father the actual reality which is free of all pretensions.
I'm a dime of dozen, and so are you! I am not a leader of men, Willy, and neither are you. You were never anything but a hard-working drummer who landed in the ash-can like all the rest of them!
I'm not bringing home any prizes any more, and you're going to stop waiting for me to bring them home! Miller After saying this, Biff breaks down and emotionally overwhelmed, hugs his father. Willy realises that though Biff had been arguing and blaming him, since the Boston episode, but inwardly he always loved his father. Willy realises Biff's unconditional love and is full of compassion. This is what he had wanted throughout his life - his sons love and respect, and he finally gets it at this stage.
Willy becomes satisfied and wants to give something worthy to his sons as a return gift. He commits suicide as he thinks that the insurance money, Rs. The reasons for this are numerous and can be demonstrated in different ways.
Miller is able to give an example of this behavior through the actions of Willy Loman. When Biff comes home to recollect himself, Willy perceives it as failure. Since Willy desperately wants his oldest son, Biff, to succeed in every way possible, he tries to take matters into his own hands. He could be big in no time" The reason that Biff came home is to find out what he wants in life. Because Willy gets in the way, matters become more complicated.
Willy believes that working on the road by selling is the greatest job a man could have Biff, however, feels the most inspiring job a man could have is working outdoors When their two dreams collide, it becomes frustrating to Willy because he believes that his way is the right way.
Thus, their relationship reaches such a point that Biff can not bear Willy. The frustration of Biff begins and he no more feels comfort with the presence of his father. They share their dreams, hopes and aspirations. Willy tries to make Biff a prominent man in the country.Father and Son Relationship in Death of a Salesman
In course of time, stealing becomes so habitual for Biff that it works as one of the principle causes of his downfall. Willy thinks that education is not necessary for success.
On the contrary, both Willy and Biff humiliates Bernard and mocks at him. Thus, although Biff is a good football player and athlete, these qualities alone are not enough in the business world. Biff is, in fact, devoid of the good family training which his father might have given him. Biff travels to Boston to meet his father but he finds in the hotel room that his father is passing his time with a girl.
Besides, the Boston incident sours the father-son relationship permanently.
Miller attempts to show the conflicts that occur as a result of a father not teaching his sons any morals. Because of this belief, Biff develops an addiction to stealing.