1) Dave Singleman is Willy’s inspiration and role model as well. This is because at Dave Singleman’s funeral, “hundreds of salesmen and buyers were at his funeral.” Willy considers such a death honourable because he believes being well known and mourned widely is a representation of a man’s success instead of his/her actual achievements. The death of Dave Singleman is also the main idea and origin of the title Death of a salesman. The symbolism of Dave Singleman is evident in the irony of his life. At the age of eighty four, Dave Singleman has not yet retired which is an indicator that he must be working because he is in need of salary and therefore is not as successful as Willy perceives.
2) Willy as a child is abandoned by his father at the age of 4, and then by his older brother Ben. As a result, Willy grows without a fatherly figure to guide his decisions and a brother to look over him: “No, Ben! Please tell about Dad. I want my boys to hear. I want them to know the kind of stock they spring from. All I remember is a man with a big beard.” This formulates insecurity within Willy that causes his desire to be well liked.
3) Willy’s encounter with Howard, Bernard and Charley in act two destroys Willy’s view of reality by revealing a truth which contrasts with Willy’s perceptions of success.
In Willy’s meet for Howard, Willy is fired. At moment, it is revealed to Willy that he is a common person and not as recommendable as he sees himself. Howard notices Willy’s struggle to assert his pride: “This is no time for false pride, Willy. You go to your sons and tell them that you’re tired. You’ve got two great boys, haven’t you?” This threatens Willy’s pride and that he has in his sons because he knows he is dissatisfied with Biff and that the perception people have of his sons are false.
In Willy’s encounter with Bernard, he learns of Bernard’s success and achievements: “Willy, genuinely shocked, pained, and happy: No! The Supreme Court!” His reaction described in the stage directions express his surprise because he had always believed success is directly related to how much you were liked. Willy would not have expected Bernard to become as successful as to address the Supreme Court. This encounter ruins his perceptions on people having to be liked to be prosperous.
Willy’s meet with Charlie brings the one truth Willy admittedly accepts: “Willy, on the verge of tears: Charley, you’re the only friend I got.” Willy argued even till he was fired that he was a remarkable salesman and well known and like. Yet, charley is the only one who consistently aided Willy throughout his career.
4) Biff’s realization that his life is a lie underline’s the theme of the play because it shows an analytic suggestion that applies to humans in general. This suggestion is that one can be freed of his/her imaginary world only by realizing one is living a fantasy. In
10) Willy Loman’s downfall was influenced by many factors including materialistic competition and the will to achieve the ‘American dream’. These factors however are only significant because they were motivated by his family and friends.
a) Linda Loman contributes to Willy’s downfall by supporting and caring about Willy to an extent of her own blindness to the truth. The most impacting decision she makes about Willy which foreshadows his death is: “[She] went down the cellar. And behind the fuse box-it happened to fall out-was a length of rubber pipe…How can [She] mention it to him.” This action preserves Willy’s pride as well as supports his materialistic view of the American dream. Linda’s tolerance of Willy’s disrespect and maltreatment toward her: “[Linda] has developed an iron repression of her exceptions to Willy’s behaviour…as though his mercurial nature, his temper, and little cruelties…” gives Willy the impression that Linda’s love for him is somewhat materialistic (He truly believes he is viewed by her as successful, which relates direct to his