Family Loyalty In Death Of A Salesman Essay

Great Essays
The lives of all human beings are deeply imbedded in the structure of their own families. For some critics family is a critical subject in the dynamics of modern social structure. The fundamental of any culture is to have domestic harmony in family, and the failure of this ideal has preoccupied many serious dramatists of different era. American dramatists in last many years had been preoccupied with the conflicting images of family life which they have expressed through variety of forms. In play after play, they have explored that how the American myth of family harmony has been strained by the contradiction inherent in their culture. It is the basis of freedom against security, community against selfhood. Arthur Miller has varied this portrayal …show more content…
Advertising, mass production values, worship of gadgetry, narrow love of family and mystical faith in commercial success; Willy being a salesman must represent these values to the consumers. The most powerful value that the play offers is the value of family loyalty. There is no doubt of Willy's love for his family, particularly for his son, Biff. It is the betrayal of this loyalty which ruins Willy's life, rather than a commercial failure, and it is in the name of family love that he finally kills himself, dying "as a father, not as a salesman". His insecurity and role of a father is evident in the memory scene, where he confesses to Ben that he feels “Kind of temporary” (DSM 191) about himself and seeks his brother’s assurance, that he is doing a good job of bringing up his …show more content…
In all of Miller’s works the relationship between father and son is a crucial one because it focuses on inherited values and assumption, so is in Death of a salesman. Willy searches for a father’s approval throughout his life. The life of his father is his fantasy,that he wants to attain. Similarly Willy’s sons are trapped by their father’s fantasy, which is more hollow for them. It shows that culture of commercial and industrial civilisation, commanded by capitalist economy, plays havoc with the warmth of human relations in family and society. Linda’s remarks are revealing when she says, “It sounds so old-fashioned and silly, but I tell you he put his whole life into you and you’ve turned your backs on him” (Miller, Collected Plays 165). Linda reminds her sons of the pains their father underwent for the benefit of his sons. Instead of showing sympathy and understanding, the sons resort to fault finding mission and Biff in particular is a bitter critic of his father. Sons’ attitude reveals the uncaring and unsympathetic behaviour of the sons in a capitalist society, who simply criticise and find fault in the character of their parents and do not pay heed and regard to the other side of the parents. Sons simply embark on fault finding mission in the character of their father. Linda rightly takes her sons to task when she says, “And you tell me he has no

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    In the Death of a Salesman, a play written by Arthur Miller, the father Willy Lohman greatly impacts the lives of his sons Biff and Happy. The expectations he sets are selfish. Biff and Happy know that all their father wants is for them to become successful businessmen. While trying to teach them how to succeed, Willy actually damaged them. He hurt Biff by going too easy on him in his childhood years, showing him the harsh reality of lies, and not letting him make the-what do you want to do when you grow up- decision on his own.…

    • 758 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness.’” Throughout the novel, the reader realizes how ironic this is. The reader realizes that Baba is a hypocrite. Baba constantly instructs Amir on integrity, marriage, and honesty, but he steals his friend’s wife and has an illegitimate son whom he keeps as his servant. He robbed Hassan of a normal life and a father. He stole Hassan’s right to the truth.…

    • 1590 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Kafka had a struggling relationship with his own father, who would beat him and called him a failure for not becoming a businessman like himself. This seems to directly mirror his work in “The Judgment”, where the character’s father disapproves of how he is living his life. At one point, the father exclaims, “You wanted to cover me up – I know that, my little offspring – but I am not yet under covers.” This can relate to how Kafka really felt about his real father. He failed to live up to his father’s expectations and he could never get those thoughts out of his mind. Sibling rivalry is a constant conflict between family, whether it is acknowledged or not.…

    • 1402 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Chris’ love and approval is what was important to Joe. Readers understand the situation Joe is in because they too have the fear of losing their purpose in life whether that is being a parent or serving the country. Joe is a common man who is the tragic hero of the play and is relatable to the audience because he worked his entire life to provide for his family at all costs. Losing a job that supports your family no matter how high paying comes with the fear that one day the family cannot be provided for if the job is lost. Therefore, the common man is suitable to be a tragic hero because their fear of losing their purpose is relatable and we pity the…

    • 1075 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    As a result, he will attempt to escape from the situation. In the play, the title character, Willy, a prideful man, who was successful as a salesman and a head of the household, lives in his past. Therefore, when he faces a failure of getting fired and raising independant sons, he feels useless, thus suicides himself. It is this plot that Arthur Miller explores in the play Death of a Salesman. However, escaping from a failure does not solve the problem fundamentally, but it is pawning off the responsibility onto others who are remaining.…

    • 1268 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Faulkner reveals to the audience the love and optimize that Sarty exhibits towards his father in order to display just how dreadful Abner is since his own loving son betrays him in the end. Moreover, Carver, writing from the point of view of the self-centered husband, illustrates a scene where the narrator “flip[s his wife’s] robe open… exposing a juicy thigh”(108-9). This comical scenario causes a sympathetic response to the narrator because he exhibits such cluelessness in an awkward yet innocent way.…

    • 1476 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Howard is at fault in firing him but in response to Willy’s desperation he points a finger at Willy’s sons saying, “Where are your sons? ... You go to your sons and you tell them that you’re tired” (Miller 63). Howard feels it is Willy’s son’s responsibility to provide for their father, and feels he himself does not hold any duty to Willy. Be that as it may, Biff does not feel he can help Willy. He succumbs himself to believe he is unable to discipline himself according his father’s ways of success.…

    • 1414 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He is estranged from his wife because not only does he lie to her about how much money he has made, but he is also cheating on her. Almost everything Willy says to his wife is a lie, and that is the recipe for a horrible marriage. His children are estranged because he made them feel like they were never good enough. No matter what his children did in the work field Willy never showed them any appreciation. His children have to lie and make up future jobs they plan on having to just make Willy happy.…

    • 2121 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “Biff and Happy hold their father to impossible high standards, and he tries his best to live up to them. This causes Willy to deny the painful reality that he has not achieved anything of real value.” (Blogspot). The boys are bringing their father down. Each and every one of the Lomans have there own way of self-deception. “The Lomans are extremely self-deceptive, and in their respective delusions and blindness to reality they fuel and feed off on another.” (Americandream).…

    • 1434 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Recognizing the pain and embarrassment Hally’s father caused young Hally and concerned that Hally does not show respect for his father in spite of his failures. Man of magnitude basically is somebody who benefitted all mankind according to the play it gives an example of Sam and Hally personality and compares them.…

    • 1582 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays