• 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...


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.


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.


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. 'The American Dream' - Death of a Salesman.

    He valued what his father instructed him to. Willy believes that this teenage popularity will guarantee Biff's success in his adult life. Even though Biff fails as an adult, his father still holds on to the idea that Bill Oliver, a businessman who Biff met numerous years ago will offer him a job.

  2. Discuss the Function of Uncle Ben, Charley and Bernard in Death of a Salesman

    He is teased continually by Biff and Happy, and even Willy for being such a 'swot', which turns out to be ironic for all of them later in life. "What're you talking about? With scholarships to three universities they're gonna flunk him?"

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

    are going to be five times ahead of him.' Ironical Bernard becomes a top lawyer. When trying to sell the American Dream to his sons Willy talks of their Uncle Bens success 'there was a man who started out with the clothes on his back and ended up with Diamond mines.'

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

    This scene in Howard's office is the scene that we actually see Willy at work and how much he has failed as a salesman as he can't even self himself. Not only does he not sell himself for an office job he also gets fired altogether making a mockery out of his skill as a salesman.

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

    This indicates that Linda still has great respect towards Willy, and wants his old age to be dignified, with the love and support of his family. The repetition of 'attention' implies that the boys are too self-focused and shows Linda's urgency and immediacy in obtaining help off Biff and Happy.

  1. Death of a salesman - Willy Loman.

    life, He keeps on referring to his past, because he missed it, and he knows he's done mistakes but he can't admit it. He ruined his relationship with his song Biff, and ruined Biff's future, because he was a liar and an unfaithful husband.

  2. How are the themes brought up in "A death of a salesman" releveant to ...

    " There was a man who started with the clothes on his back" Willy tells Charley that Ben started with nothing and became successful. Nearly everyone who has achieved the American dream is rich. This gives Willy the idea that the only way to achieve the American dream is to become rich and successful.

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