• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Death of a Salesman - plot summary

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Death of a salesman Willy a sixty something year old successful man, or that is what he thinks. Willy starts of as a 'normal' salesman but he slowly starts to degenerate into a gibbering wreck. We are told, "his exhaustion is apparent" Willy lives in New York as he has moved their after rejecting the offer to go to Alaska, instead he became a New York salesman, to follow the 'American dream' So he had hoped he could go into New York with nothing and leave 'rich' This formed part of the 'phoney American dream' Biff is an unemployed, thirty-four year old failure, but that is not what his father Willy thinks. Willy feels very proud of biff, and that he has achieved a lot in his life. But really he has achieved very little. Biff also lacks self-assurance because of the uncertainty about his father's attitude towards him, and his doubts about his own life and future. As Biff says "Why does dad mock me all the time?" Linda is very caring for Willy and "she more than loves him" and she is very loyal and supportive of him. She doesn't understand what is going on between Willy and Biff and why there is tension, Happy is like Willy and he is lost in his own life, but he cannot come to face towards defeat. ...read more.

Middle

On page 82 Biff finally faces up to the truth himself and realises that his whole life has been a failure "I realised what a ridiculous lie my whole life has been. We've been talking in a dream for fifteen years. I was a shipping clerk" Biff has realised that he has been a failure for fifteen years and all that was said about the cattle ranching and all the other job's was a lie so that he could get attention. When Biff had decided to go and see Bill Oliver to borrow some money to start a business it all went wrong "Hap, I took his fountain pen" Biff had stolen Bill's fountain pen and ran out with it, and he said he did it because "I just - wanted to take something" Biff decides that he is going to tell Willy the truth, but Happy knows this will hurt him. Happy says, "Dad is never so happy as when he's looking forward to something!" Biff wants to tell the truth but Happy wants to keep deceiving his father so that he will remain happy and not break down. Biff tries to tell Willy the truth but Willy only 'hears what he wants to hear' and he also keeps changing the subject, so in the end Biff deceives him again "I did. ...read more.

Conclusion

Biff - he likes me!" He then starts to say how magnificent Biff is going to be when he grows up. Willy has to be convinced that he is loved by Biff because he thinks that he doesn't love him as he walked out of the restaurant, and he saw him with The Woman. Now he knows that Biff loves him he has decided that he is going to kill himself for Biff so that he can have all of the money. Willy then goes on to say that he knew that himself and Biff would always make it "Oh, Ben, I always knew one way or another we were gonna make it, Biff and I!" Biff has learnt from his father's death, he has learnt that Willy was not as popular as he was saying he was, and he was just living in the 'phoney American dream' Happy does not seem to understand this and he is still very defensive of things said about him. "[infuriated]: Don't say that!" Happy also says that he is going to prove that his father did not die in vein but we all know that he did. "Willy Loman did not die in vein" Biff talks about leaving the city but happy wants to stay "I'm staying right in this city, and I'm gonna beat this racket!" but then he says "The Loman Brothers!" but he can't be part of the team as he rejected the offer to move away. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Death of a Salesman section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Death of a Salesman essays

  1. Death Of A Salesman - Willy Loman - Villain, Victim or hero. What is ...

    The most important fault was the affair. He might have not wanted to do this on purpose but this does not make him any better. Maybe the affair first started out as a business relationship, but it did not end that way. Willy cheated on Linda and never said anything about the affair to her.

  2. Death of the Salesman - Discuss the importance of the scene in which Howard ...

    He begs for money as he doesn't want to admit to his family, his sons, that he has failed them and so lose his dignity and pride. After his meeting with Howard Willy goes to meet his sons but he doesn't want to hear what they have to say when Biff tells him about his failure at his meeting.

  1. Death of a Salesman

    This is an attempt by Happy to get recognition from Willy. When in the present, Happy tries to get recognition by announcing that he is getting married. In both instances, however, Happy's remarks are dismissed as unimportant. Thus it is no surprise when Happy leaves Willy alone in the restaurant.

  2. Death of a Salesman' Act 2 Continued17) The effect of Bernard being contrasted with ...

    Then when Biff finally goit to see him, he didn't remember him and only saw him for a minute before he walked away. 26) Biff learns that he was never as good as he considered himself to be and that he was never actually a salesman with Bill Oliver but actually only a shipping clerk.

  1. Examine the presentation of Linda in this part of the play.Extract -Page 38, Linda: ...

    Her speech is dominated with devotion and passion, implied mainly by the stage direction 'with a threat of tears'. This stage direction suggests Linda is desperate for help. She obviously loves Willy passionately and unconditionally to be so frantically worried, and by threatening tears, she is making her sons feel guilty.

  2. Willy Loman - Villain, Victim or hero. What is your view?

    He begins to understand that his true dream, of living in the country, is identical to that of his beloved son, Biff. Biff has never been able to follow his dream because of his father 'blowing him so full of hot air' that he 'could never take orders from anybody.'

  1. What are your first impressions of Happy and Biff

    Why, he's got the finest eye in the business. You know that." They idolise him. Biff is unsure of what direction he is going in, "what the hell am I doing, playing around with horses... I oughta be makin' my future... I don't know what to do with myself".

  2. Betrayed or Betrayer? Discuss theses two aspects of Willy Loman's character and comment on ...

    Aside from the American dream's betrayal, others also betrayed Willy. His farther betrayed him because he had abandoned him when he was small. This childhood emotional trauma of abandonment can be seen as a betrayal it took away possible touchable wealth, inheritance but also he did not know his history.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work