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"He had the wrong dreams. All, all wrong". Is Biff's valedictory opinion of his father Willy's life correct in your view?

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"He had the wrong dreams. All, all wrong". Is Biff's valedictory opinion of his father Willy's life correct in your view? In this essay I will consider the above statement and go through all the points of question related to it. I will then make an informed decision in the conclusion, as to whether or not I regard the statement as correct. To begin with it is important that we consider the relationship between Biff and his father, Willy. Both Willy's dreaming and his cruelty suggest that Willy lives in a world of his own. He seems to have unrealistic dreams of his own and his family's importance and in Biffs case he is puzzled as to why Biff is working on a farm and this leads to a great deal of conflict. Willy's views are liable to sudden change. One minute he says that Biff is 'a lazy bum' and then he says that he 'is not lazy'. It is clear that Biff is sensitive and caring and loves his family deeply, but at the end all he can do is to be cruel and force everyone to face the truth. ...read more.


Happy insists that he is going to show that and that he is going to 'win it' for Willy. Yet as Willy has lied to Happy about what he has been earning, Happy in unaware that competitiveness is ultimately fruitless, though it sustains the capitalist system. Willy's late brother Ben is seen by Willy as the personification of the American Dream. He started out with nothing and became rich through Diamond mines. From the way in which Willy speaks about Ben it is clear that he is in admiration of him, saying 'That man was a genius, that man was success incarnate' Willy regrets not going to Alaska with Ben commenting, 'What a mistake! He begged me to go.' A note of despair enters when Willy says 'The woods are burning'. This poetic metaphor recalls both the elm trees which Willy loved and the jungle where Ben made his fortune. The implication seems to be that the very land of opportunity itself is going up in smoke. However there is an ambiguity as to whether or not Ben is directly responsible for this. If he is then it would seem that Willy's admiration for his late brother would be somewhat misplaced. ...read more.


If you can't walk away he remarks, 'that's when it's tough'. Willy may have decided that in his current predicament the best option would be to take the advice of walking away, and Willy may have taken this to mean committing suicide. Based on the analysis above I believe that it would be fair to say that Willy's dreams, were not necessarily wrong, but unrealistic and almost impossible for him to achieve because the Loman family were naturally suited to life in the countryside. So, Biff's opinion of his father is somewhat indecisive. I believe that over ambition and expectation proved to be Willy's downfall. Unfortunately Willy ended life believing that he had failed, when really he had not. He had just made the last mortgage payments on the house, and both of his sons were content in life. Willy attempted to keep to a set of moral and respectable principles in business, something which ultimately cost him dear. He did not believe in exploitation, rather he believed in common courtesy and decency. Had he not held close these principles then he would most likely have come closer to fulfilling the American dream. So in all it would seem that Willy was a tragic victim of society who was destroyed by the evils of capitalist society. Richard Stephens 29/09/02 1 ...read more.

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