Charley says something in Arthur Millerís Death of a Salesman that sums up
Willyís whole life. He asks him, When the hell are you going to grow up? Willyís
spends his entire life in an illusion. He sees himself as a great man that is
popular and successful. Willy exhibits many childlike qualities. Many of these
qualities have an impact on Willyís family. His two sons Biff and Happy pick up
this behavior from their father. He is idealistic, stubborn, and he has a false
sense of his importance in the world. Willy is like an impetuous youngster with
high ideals and high hopes. Children always have high hopes for their future.
They all want to be astronauts or millionaires. Willy always believes he can
achieve that kind of success. He never lets go of his wasted life. He dreams of
being the man who does all of his business out of his house and dying a rich and
successful man. Furthermore, Willy also dreams of moving to Alaska where he
could work with his hands and be a real man. Biff and Happy follow in their
fatherís footsteps in their lofty dreams and unrealistic goals. Biff wastes his
life being a thief and a loner; furthermore, Biff, along with happy try to
conjure up a crazy idea of putting on a sporting goods exhibition. The problem
with Willy is that he never grows up and deals with his obstacles. Willy is also
a very stubborn man.
He is like a little child that wants to do something their
way even though they know that another option would be the wiser choice. Charley
practically sets a potential job into Willyís lap and he refuses it. Willy just
was fired and needed a job. He refuses one. Willy is too stubborn to let go of
his old job and take a new one. He still believes that he is at the top of his
profession. When Willy does not get his way he acts just as a child would. He
has tantrums such as when he basically challenged Charley to a fight after he
told him to grow up. Biff is also stubborn like his father. He never gives up
being a child. He steals and lies. Biff cannot handle being ignored, so he
steals a pen. Willyís childlike stubbornness hampers him throughout his life.
Willy, like most children thinks that he is more important than he actually is.
During the whole story, he brags himself up, calling himself a great salesman.
He says that he is known everywhere. When his funeral is to occur, Willy
believed that it will be a major event. Many will come to pay their respects to
New Englandís greatest salesman. He is just an old broken down man who never was
good at his job.
Willy is not well known. Few attend his funeral. When one is a
child, they believe that they are more important than they really are. As people
grow older they realize that they are just one of many in the world. Willy Loman
never does realize this fact. Biff and Happy never realize it either. They
continue to believe that the Lomans are an extraordinary family above all
others. After Willy dies, Happy proclaims that he will continue his fathers
quest as the great salesman. Biff believes that the Lomans are not liked because
they are rough and tough men who use their hands. Willy goes through his entire
life believing that is a great, well known, and well-liked salesman. Willy Loman
is a child trapped in a manís body. He never lets go of his dreams. He does not
come to grips with his failure as a salesman, father, and husband. Willy runs
away from responsibility, and he asks others for handouts when in need. These
traits have a negative impact Biff and Happy throughout their lives. At the end
of his life he lives with delusions of what his life was and is. Willy never
does grow up.