The Impact Of Willys Expectations In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

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The Impact of Willy’s Expectations in Arthur Miller’s
Death of a Salesman “Blessed [are] [those] who expect nothing, as [they] will never be disappointed” (Alexander Pope). In the playwright Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Willy Loman is a mercurial salesman who contemplates suicide due to the emptiness in his life. Despite his hard work, the Loman family survive with only minimum income, causing Willy to hold his sons, Biff and Happy, to unhealthy pressure that hinders their mental wellbeing. Therefore, Willy’s unrealistic expectations lead to the mental downfall of Biff and Happy, which is proven through their denial, anxiety, and dishonesty.
Both sons are lead into a state of denial as Willy pressures them to be financially successful. Specifically, Biff, is the main target of his father’s criticism. When Linda accuses Willy of losing his temper with Biff, Willy states that “he simply asked [him] if he was making
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Days before Biff’s major football game, Willy buys him a boxing bag as he believes “it is the finest thing for the timing” (29). Willy’s unrealistic expectations for Biff football game causes him to direct less focus towards Happy. Consequently, Happy urges for attention, saying: “I’m losing weight, you notice pop?” (29). In addition, when Willy realizes that Biff truly loves him, Happy reminds his father that“[he] is getting married . . . don’t forget it. [He] is going to change everything. [He] is going to run that department before the year is up. [Willy] [will] see.” (174). Throughout his childhood, Happy is constantly neglected as Willy places unreasonable expectations for Biff’s future. Consequently, Happy becomes apprehensive of the fact that his father may love Biff more, resulting in his efforts to divert his attention away from Biff. All in all, Happy in is need of his father’s attention to medicate his

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