The Function of Uncle Ben, Charley and Bernard in Death of a Salesman

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The Function of Uncle Ben, Charley and Bernard in Death of a Salesman

In Death of a Salesman, we find Willy Loman to be influenced greatly by other characters. His emotions and views are almost solely affected by what others think, and how others treat him. Aside from his own family members, there are three characters in particular that have a large impact on Willy. Uncle Ben is Willy's deceased brother, who Willy is very fond of, although perhaps secretly jealous of. Charley is the Loman family's next door neighbour, a friend and a successful salesman. Bernard is Charley's son. He worked hard at school and is now a successful lawyer.

Uncle Ben, who we see alive in the flashbacks, travelled to
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But, as Ben achieved it with very little work it creates Willy a false sense of hope in Willy as he struggles to be a 'success'.

Willy fails what he desires to achieve, so starts to try and live the American dream through his sons. When Ben returns rich, he represents all that Willy wishes the boys to be, yet his actions in the past are not firmly established. All Willy really cares about is that Ben has the money and social status to seem successful in society; not how he got there, all he knows is he must live up to the standards set by Ben. I think Ben shows that you must define success for yourself else it will define you. Ben took a chance, decided how he wanted to become rich and achieved it. Willy defines success based on what other people have and they are viewed, therefore not being a personal achievement, but fake values and worth. The need and desperation for success takes over, which is when the lies and deceit begin.

After Ben's death, Willy starts to envisage Ben as his subconscious voice of reasoning due to his admiration of Ben. Of course we as the reader know that it isn't Ben voicing his opinions on Willy's problems. It is Willy's mind arguing with himself and telling him what the right thing to do is, and trying to justify his own views and decisions. This shows us that Ben is a very close,

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