About Hapiness in the Play Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman was written in 1949 by Arthur Miller. In this famous American story, Miller depicts many scenarios within the Loman family regarding happiness, while others do not achieve it. He depicts this family as very dysfunctional, yet they all want nothing but the best for each other; success and happiness.

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Happiness is a state of contempt and well-being; physically and mentally. It is a feeling of peace within yourself. Being happy is vital in any person’s life. 

Every human strives for happiness in their lives, even if it means that they must face and conquer challenges every so often. Willy, Biff, Happy, and Linda Loman all struggle with being truly contempt with their selves throughout the story. Willy Loman is a sixty-three-year-old salesman who cannot accept the truth.

He constantly contradicts himself, which makes it very hard for him to be happy. He is an unstable man who is very insecure but uses his arrogance to try and cover his flaws such as his anxiety.

He has two main goals in life; to accumulate fancy materialistic items through his financial successes and to be liked in life. In the Death of a Salesman story, Willy believes that he is a respected and successful business man who has a positive influence on his sons’ lives. None of that is true. Biff knows his truth, and Happy is a truly successful businessman.

Willy has a mental illness that causes him to have random and quick mood swings after he hallucinates. 

The hallucinations that Willy has are because he is searching for that happiness. Willy tries his hardest to hide his troubles and his anxiety by using defense mechanisms. Willy does not make enough money, nor is he liked let alone respected. Willy feels that he is a failure, and that is why he pushes his son Biff so hard. Unlike Willy, Biff Loman knows his truth.

He can see his failures. He does not sit around and dream about something that he knows he is not able to achieve. Biff works with what is in front of him. Willy and Biff have the most poisonous relationship in this story.

Willy told Biff through his childhood and early adulthood that if he has the looks and is well liked, and he can sweet talk his way regardless of the mechanisms used, such as lies, to get his way to achieve the success then he will be all set. Biff is Willy’s golden boy because he wants Biff to succeed, but he does not really care for Happy’s happiness. 

Oh, the irony that Happy’s name is Happy. The apple does not fall far from the tree. Happy is another Willy, but Happy is more successful than Willy. Happy has achieved the American dream; he has a good job and he is successful at his job.

Even though he is financially set he struggles with realistic dreams such as getting rich quick when he knows that is not realistically possible. Happy knows he is better than Biff.

Happy knows that he makes Willy proud, yet Willy pays more attention to Biff. If Willy could choose between Biff or Happy, he would always choose Biff. Even though Happy has accomplished so much financially in his business, he still feels lonely and most certainly unhappy. The Death of a Salesman teaches us many lessons.

Willy is not one to live by.

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About Hapiness In The Play Death of a Salesman. (2019, May 07). Retrieved October 1, 2022 , from

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