Conflict experienced in Death of a Salesman
Death of a Salesman is based on a family who has endured many obstacles with hopes to achieve their dreams. The protagonist in this play is Willy Loman. Willy has a desire to be a salesman and for his son Biff to be one to. Throughout the play Willy is faced with many conflicts, these conflicts have shaped the direction in which the play will be unraveled. As the play is told it shows a man that is confused and has not adapted to the changing of time, it has left one to wonder what the state of his mind is.
The idea of being a salesman originated from Willy meeting Dave Singleman. Willy has based the hopes and aspect of his career on this man. He wanted his success as a salesman to take on the same pattern as Singlemans own. He so wants to be like Singleman that he starts to lie to his family and friends stating that he is liked in every city that he visits. Willy so wants these lies to be true, that he starts believing them himself. Throughout this play the main conflict lies with Willy and himself. He cannot come to accept the fact that he is getting old and it is affecting his job. Because of his age and his state of mind traveling has become difficult. On numerous occasions he has tried taking his life based on the stress of not being able to make enough money to support Linda and himself. He also goes to his boss, Howard, hoping to get a raise. Howard in turn fires him because he is old and not able to perform. Willy now out of a job has too much pride to accept a job from Charley, who is trying to help him or confront his sons to take up their responsibility to take care of him and the mother.
Biff has always looked up to his father until that crucial turning point, when Biff found out that he was cheating on his mother. With the knowledge of his fathers infidelity Biff and Willy from that point have been at odds with one another. Linda believes that the reason that they cant get along is because Biff is not living up to his fathers expectations. Really Biff has lost his way and is taking on jobs that he does not enjoy. Linda trying to make light of the situation, explains that Biff just has not found himself as yet. Throughout the years Biff has resent his father because of the constant pressure to succeed. Once Biff begins to develop his own beliefs, his opinions about his father change. Instead of viewing his father as a fake, Biff comes to realize that his father had some good qualities, but was simply misguided by inadequate values. Throughout the play one can observe that Biff is Willys favorite son, though he constantly lets his father down with the inability to become successful. Unlike Happy, Biff has come to terms in what he really. He realizes that he is not a salesman, but a man that is in love with the concept of nature and is willing to accept it as his calling.
Happy is younger than Biff, thus he is always striving for the fathers attention. He feels like he is being overshadowed by his brother. Because of this, Happy constantly tries to get approval and recognition from the father. He goes as far to say that he is getting married; Willy ignores this statement as how he continuously has dismissed him throughout the years. With the continuous feeling of rejection it is obvious why he left Willy at the restaurant. Happy was doing what must humans do when they are rejected, they retaliate. Happy is most like his father in the way that he much prefers fantasy over reality. Happy is willing to continue with pretending everything is all right so as long as it makes life easier. For instance when Biff did not get the loan from Oliver and was trying to tell Willy about the outcome, Happy was interrupting and trying to that say that the interview went well. If done to the point when the father committed suicide, Happy was still in denial. He was still willing to say that Willy didnt die in vain, that he had a good dream.
The Loman family is facing many problems that modern day families are encountering. That is that each individual in that family has their own battle to face and place to take within the world. As a parent Willy Loman is pushing his children to make a better life for themselves. With his concentration so focus on how his kids succeed, he has lost his way is discovering who he is. This has left him with no other choice but to commit suicide, with the hope that it would solve his problems. Biff realizing the path that his father chose to take, has left him with a greater understanding of him. He struggles to make his father come to the realization that he is stuck in a fantasy world and needs to face the facts of reality. With Willy not being able to conform to the changing of the environment around him, the reality and changes of life has left him behind.