Biff says, He had the wrong dreams. What was wrong about Willy’s dreams? Was there a right dream for Willy? Is Willy ever a success? Explain. What dream could Willy have followed successfully?
Death of a Salesman is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. The play is about the American dream, which was expressed through the old salesman and his family. Willy Loman is an elderly salesmen lost in false hopes and illusions. As Willy has grown older, he has trouble distinguishing between the past and present – between illusion and reality – and is often lost in flashbacks where much of the story is told.
He had the wrong dreams, all, all wrong. The man didn’t know who he was.
There was something wrong about Willy’s dreams indeed. Firstly, he chases the shadows that are coming from his past. He holds his memories so hard, that it creates another reality. The reality, where he is a wealthy man, with no worries or problems, who has a beautiful wife, two kids with a promising future, and everything what he does is touched by the fortune. The biggest problem is that these are only the old memories, sooner or later though, a person has to let them go, but in this case, Willy just cannot do this, it is too harsh for him. When a person starts with a huge success, astonishing luck, and one day everything just fades away, he cannot accept the pale truth any more, and start everything from the beginning. It is just too painful to face the reality, remembering how great and mighty he was.
Somewhere deep, in the small figment of imagination, Willy had a right dream for him, oh yes, he, certainly, did. Despite those two-sided glasses he wears, he is still able to separate gold from ashes, in other words, what is good and wrong for him. First of all, the definition of the right dream for Willy is to make the American dream come true. He doesn’t want anything more than this. He wants to become as successful as his brother Benn and also be well-liked person. Also, he wants to talk big about his successful sons, about his huge, profitable sells, about the fortunes he has, and this would certainly give him joy and self-esteem. All in all, he wants to be touched by the fortune, again and, then, everything will be the same, like it was before in the past.
Unfortunately, through his long, hard-working years, he didn t have any success. He tries as best as he can, but unsuccessfully. Also, he always asks his brother s Benn for free advices on his business, money, sales, likability and etc but the answer from Benn is always the same William, when I walked into the jungle, I was seventeen. When I walked out I was twenty-one. And, by God, I was rich! Willy believes that personality, hard work and innovation, are the keys to success, but remembering all his failures, he doesn t understand why he is not able to make it. In that way, he, desperately, tries to find the answers, starting from his brother Benn to Biff s best friend Bernard.
Through the whole play, Willy Loman has many sparkling dreams, some of them are real, but most of them are not. Willy Loman is like a small kid, who chases the wind, and the wind, in the meaning of his dream, is not meant to be caught. However, I think, the dream that Willy Loman have followed, successfully, was the salesman’s dream. His belief in that idea was so overwhelming, that he chooses the darkness, full of diamonds rather than a life with his beloved wife and sons. Willy Loman born to be a salesman, so, he chose to die being one of them. And it doesn’t matter if those dreams are wrong, Willy Loman, from the bottom of his heart, honestly believe in them, and that what makes those dreams become real. Willy was a salesman, and for a salesman there is no rock bottom to the life . He was a man way in the blue, riding on a smile .
Yes, Willy Loman was drifted far, far away in the woods and he had all the wrong dreams, but he honestly believed in them. Even though, things, sometimes, turned ugly, he still left loyal to himself, to his vague beliefs and that what makes him a winner.