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

How and what do we learn about Willy(TM)s Character and Beliefs from the First Act of Death of a Salesman

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How and what do we learn about Willy's Character and Beliefs from the First Act of Death of a Salesman? In Act one of the play Miller begins with a dialogue between the main character Willy and his wife Linda. Willy is a travelling salesman and the reader learns that he is having trouble with his mind as it drifts from the past (memory) to the present (reality). Throughout the first act Miller begins to reveal Willy's character and beliefs. The reader learns that Willy is an unsuccessful salesman; he believes that the key to success "Is not what you know but who you know." From the opening scene Miller presents the reader with Willy's first problem, we are told that while Willy was driving and admiring the scenery his car veered off the side of the road. ...read more.

Middle

Being well liked is an important part of Willy's character. He believes that being liked, leads to success. Although Willy encourages success, he fails to provide his boys with morality. This can be seen when Biff steals a football from the school and Willy says " Sure, he's gotta practise with a regulation ball, doesn't he? Coach'll probably congratulate you on your initiative!" Willy encourages his boys to steal building supplies from a building site so that he could build a new stoop and doesn't seem to care if they get caught. He even brags about what they steal, "You shoulda seen the lumber they brought home last week. At least a dozen six-by-tens worth all kinds a money". ...read more.

Conclusion

Willy also lies to his boys about having coffee with the Mayor of Providence and he claims, "I can park my car in any street in New England and the cops protect it like their own." But we later find out that Willy's lies cover up his lack of confidence. He later admits to Linda that people in New England appear to laugh at him. Finally, Willy lies about the amount he is selling. One minute he states his is making $1,200 and then the next he admits the truth, that he only made $120. The reason why Willy is dishonest to his boys and Linda is because he wants to impress them and not appear as a failure to them. Lying is his method of hiding what he sees as his inadequacies. Willy's immorality is evident in the disclosure by Miller of his mistress ...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 Arthur Miller 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 Arthur Miller essays

  1. Death of a Salesman

    Such examples include 'Hamlet' and 'Romeo and Juliet'. The reason for his death was for him to think that Biff would be left with 'twenty thousand dollars on the barrelhead', enough for him to set himself up some business. And in doing so, he believes that his death is of a noble cause.

  2. Death Of A Salesman

    I also think that the seeds that Willy plants are symbolic in a way to another failure of the 'American Dream' because this was Willy's desire to grow big and tall ironically just like the plant eventually would. At the end of the play Willy is talking to Ben while he is planting the seeds.

  1. DEATH OF A SALESMAN

    Willy seems to have potential for him and his family, they live social expectations. - It seems Biff will make the family happy but he doesn't. - Charismatic salesman is what Willy wants to be, he shows love to his family.

  2. Discuss the Importance of Dreams in "Death of a Salesman"

    The importance of the American Dream in 'Death of a Salesman' is very significant. The Lomans are each affected in their own way by the pressures placed upon them by the society they live in. Willy is not ruthless enough to be able to really make it in the business

  1. Death of a Salesman Essay

    Miller has used the tall buildings to show how trapped Willy is in his life. Everything is above him and he is made to appear insignificant. The colour orange is used because it is associated with flames and more importantly, hell.

  2. Directing the first sceen of 'The Crucibal'.

    The first act establishes the main characters of the play. As simple as this task may seem, miller does it with some flare and is able to grab our attention as soon as we start to read. Tension is created very early on in the first act as Parris confronts Abigail about the ordeal in the forest the previous night.

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