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Death of a Salesman. Although Ben is only seen occasionally throughout the story, his presence is significant and serves as an ideal persona in Willys psyche

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Isaac Kang English 11/ Per. 1 DOAS Essay 14 September 2012 Willy's Development In the play, Death of a Salesman, the playwright intertwines minor characters into the story to inherently change the development of the protagonist Willy Loman. Willy?s wealthy brother, Ben, undertakes a subordinate persona in Willy?s conscience that significantly affects Willy?s character and the course of his actions. Although Ben is only seen occasionally throughout the story, his presence is significant and serves as an ideal persona in Willy?s psyche that Willy always strives to become. Despite the fact that Ben is deceased, his appearances in Willy?s flashbacks and memories continuously haunt Willy of this disillusioned sense of the ?American Dream? and this conviction drives him to his demise by the end of the novel. Ben not only represents Willy?s incompetency in achieving the life he desires but also becomes a character showing Willy?s strife and bitterness that accumulated from all of his past regrets and failures. ...read more.


What is the answer?" signifying even more of his biased view towards his failure and Ben?s success. In addition, when Ben states that he ?walked into the jungle, and when [he] walked out... [he] was rich? Willy immediately believes Ben's method as a way of achieving success with the least amount of effort (Miller 33). Ben's words seem to be so "golden" to Willy that Willy goes to the extent of forcing upon Ben's method to his own son, Biff, as a substitute for his own failures and regrets from the past. However, since success comes from hard work and effort, Willy's plan to mimic Ben's method through Biff is destined to fail ,signifying Willy's current state of mind to be delusional. Every single appearance of Ben significantly played an influential role in which affected Willy's actions throughout the story. ...read more.


Towards the conclusion of the story, Ben's heavy influence on Willy takes place when Willy is frustrated that Biff is incapable of holding a stable job. When Ben appears Willy proposes a proposition to Ben in which Ben significantly supports. After Willy's and Biff's fight, Ben says that Biff is "outstanding, with twenty thousand behind him" pushing Willy to make the decision to commit suicide (Miller pg. 106). This demonstrates how Ben's influences have developed from morals to satanic advises. Although, Ben is a figment of Willy's imagination, Ben's character becomes the key role in Willy's decision to kill himself and the push towards delirium. Minor characters serve the purpose of supporting or influencing the protagonist of the story. Throughout Death of a Salesman, the roles of these subordinate personas are exemplified through Ben. Ben heavily contributes in the sequence of events that lead up to the important breakthrough, Willy Loman's demise. Although Ben is a minor character, he symbolizes Willy's struggle with his disillusioned "American Dream" which significantly represents Willy's persona. ...read more.

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