In the Death of a Salesman written by Arthur Miller, Willy Loman, the main character in the book lives a life full of prestige and lies. He spends his life concentrating on his popularity and fails to provide guidance to his children. He realizes this when time has passed and tries to solve it. Willy notices that his time had succeeded him and tries to adapt and adjust to the present by trying to grasp several aspects of his life. However, this becomes difficult because he opts to fantasize on his relationship with his wife and the way he brought up his children rather than accept the truth. This paper discusses the character of Willy in relationship to his incapacity to adapt to the present and the relationship he shares with his children.
As a parent, Willy Loman had the responsibility of providing his sons advice on moral values and the value of education and hard work as key aspects of success. Instead of doing that, Willy spent most of his time out and when he got time, he taught his children the importance of popularity at the expense of education and morality. He had many dreams for his family but lacked the character to make his dreams come true. Willy lived a petty life, and when he realizes that he has wasted his life and gained nothing, he tries to achieve his dream through the lives of his sons. This dysfunctional relationship ruins his family (Bloom 83).
Willy brought up his sons with little emphasis on education. Instead, he enforced pride and self-image at the expense of education. As his sons grew up, they lacked a compact foundation that left them clueless about life. Willy wanted his sons to have a successful life. However, he did not impart in them the quality of hard work that would contribute to their success. Willy fails to distinguish reality and fantasy. He believes that his sons have everything it takes to achieve success especially in the business world.
All through his life, Willy could not demonstrate honesty even in his relationship with his wife. He lied to his wife severally that he went on business trips. However, he spent those days spending his time with another woman. Willy could not cope up with reality that his sons could not be successful. This fact confused Willy. At one point, he describes Biff as lazy while at another instance, in his conversation with Linda, he describes Biff as hardworking.
Willy tries to live his past life through Biff hoping that Biff would achieve his failed dreams. All through Willy comments on the greatness of Biff. However, he does not talk often of Happy. Disharmony occurs because Willy favored Biff over Happy. Happy tries to achieve wealth so as to attract Willy`s attention, but he fails to do so and becomes miserable (Bloom 83).
Because Willy realized that he could not achieve success, he tries to achieve that through his son, Biff. However, Biff cannot do that and at one point tells his father to shelf his dreams. Willy never helped his sons to learn genuine values and hard work because of his belief in the popularity of a person. Willy shares a failed relationship with his sons. He tries to compensate his past failures by trying to get his sons do something that could earn them wealth, but all this fails. Everything that Willy did to correct his past misdoings failed. This makes him choose suicide at the expense of a decent job that his neighbor continually offered him.
Willy Loman failed to teach his sons morality and values. He chose popularity, wealth and prestige at the expense of moral values and education. His failure to achieve his dream made him try to achieve it through his sons. He still failed to achieve his dream and decided to commit suicide.