Drama of the Loman Family

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Imagine dying for the sake of a dream. In the drama Death of a Salesman, the author, Arthur Miller, tells of the tragic life of a salesman named Willy and his family. The family feels trapped in their misfortune, and in turn act in immature ways in order to prove to themselves that life is not as bad as it seems. The Loman family is constantly being tested by various events, therefore when something good happens they are quick to react, not thinking about how it will impact them in the future. Miller uses the actions of the characters to show that, much like today, the Lomans wanted to be successful in life: the characters lack of honesty, lack of communication and being in a state of denial, which led to the selfless decision that would change the Loman family forever.

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In the drama, Miller uses the conflict between the two main characters, Willy and his son, Biff, to bring to light one of the biggest problems seen throughout the story, honesty. The Loman family is built on lies and secrets. In the attempt to bring light to both situations, Willy and Biff lie their way through each obstacle. Linda, Willyr’s wife, is so blindsided by the hard work of her husband, that she can not see what is going on behind the scenes and while he is at work. Willy is having an affair with a woman, but knows how to manipulate his family into believing he is your ordinary hard working father whose main priority is to provide for his family. While a lot of the blame for the family misfortune is thrown on Willy, Biff is no angel either. He hides from his family the reasoning for having no address for three months (104) until he later confesses he was in jail for stealing. (104) The Loman family is constantly in a battle against each other because there is not a strong foundation or the honesty needed for the family to thrive. With the constant struggle between both men who only see the failures in each other, conflict is set early on in the drama. Considering what the reader already knows, it is evident that without honesty and trust the Loman family is not going to last.

Two very important components of a successful family would be trust and communication. For the Loman family communication is not a strong suit. A vast majority of the problems developed in the story stem from Willy and Biff who do not agree on anything. They lack communication skills which has not helped with Willyr’s hope of one day living the American dream. Willy has big plans for Biff, but Biff refuses to settle for anything less than perfect. Biff, being 34 years old, has not had a set job and has explored multiple career choices, such as shipping clerk, salesman, business of one kind or another (10) , and he has never been satisfied. Biff and Willy do not have a healthy relationship. Once a statements is made they are ready to fire back. Willy does not agree with Biffr’s inability to compromise with a job and makes the remark that not finding yourself at the age of thirty-four is a disgrace, (5) creating conflict once again with his son. A lot of Willyr’s problems start when he does not get what he wants and then starts to react based on his immediate feelings. Not only does he disagree with his son but he finds himself getting jealous of the fame and fortune of the people around him. He lets his immediate senses cloud his judgement which in the long run is detrimental to his family. Miller uses Willy and Biffr’s poor communication skills to prove that sometimes it is better to say nothing at all, then to open your mouth and regret it later.

In addition to lacking honesty and having poor communication skills, the Loman family, Willy in particular, is in denial, which leads to the event that will change the Loman family. This creates the greatest amount of tension between Biff and Willy. Willy is constantly nagging at Biff and his inability to find a job which only makes matters worse. Likewise, he calls Biff a lazy bum (5), but then contradicts himself by making the comment just moments later, there is one thing about Biff- he is not lazy. (6) Miller uses Willyr’s inability to detain his emotions to show that Willy is very indecisive about many things in life. Instead of letting his sons live their own dream, Willy lets his own personal goals, get in the way of Biffr’s wishes. Willy also brings the problems he faces in his home life, into the workforce. Willy is very confident in himself as a salesman, but his boss sees it differently. Willy says he averaged a hundred and seventy dollars a week in commissions (62), by is then degraded by his boss, Howard when he says, now Willy, you never averaged (62) that much money, which is obvious considering how much the Loman family is struggling. Miller uses the conversation of the two characters to prove Willy is in denial. Furthermore, Willy makes the statement, you end up worth more dead than alive, leading him to make the decision to kill himself, in hopes of giving his boys the future they want and deserve. Miller uses the actions of the Loman family, to reiterate what denial can do to a family.

In Arthur Millerr’s Death of a Salesman, the reader is almost immediately thrown into the drama of the Loman family. Miller writes in a way that will keep the reader on his toes about what will happen next in the Loman household. Overall he uses Willy and Biff as a platform for the drama, to show what the lack of honesty, communication, and even denial can do to a family. In the drama, the character gets to see how the Loman family is affected due to the unwillingness to agree. Miller reiterates that the things you do in life have consequences, some are good, and some are bad. For the Loman family the actions of the characters will change their life forever, they had to lose something to gain something, and for what. The things you do in this life will be what people remember you by, make sure to leave a legacy.

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Drama Of The Loman Family. (2019, May 31). Retrieved July 2, 2022 , from
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