“Death of a Salesman” has various ways of showing the reader many emotions throughout the play but happiness is the key component within. The pursuit of happiness and living the so-called American Dream is a big part of the play “Death of a Salesman”. “The US Declaration of Independence guarantees the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all citizens. These promises are not about guaranteed outcomes, but about opportunities to seek fulfilling lives” (Graham 1). This means that everyone has a chance at happiness it is how you achieve it which is the hardest part.
Willy Loman the father in the play is a troubled but hardworking father of two boys, Biff and Happy. Willy struggles to find happiness at times in his life that always seems to drag him down. Biff has the mindset that he has not achieved anything that he or his father wanted for him so far in his life.
Happy, the youngest son of Willy, is always trying to impress his father but never gets the credit he believes he is owed.
Happiness has a vague meaning to many people throughout the world. Happiness is the physical and emotional mindset that enable a person to live contently throughout their lives. Willy Loman is a traveling salesman that is always looking for his next get rich plan or scheme. He has an overconfidence that portrays him of being quiet the pain for others to be around. Willy pushes his son Biff so hard when he was a young boy playing football that Biff did not focus on his education.
His actions toward Happy are always second on his list as if he was not as good as his brother Biff. Willy struggles to understand why Biff is thirty-four years old and has not had a steady job and has not accomplished himself. Willy learns the reason why he has not accomplished anything when Bernard, Biffs friend, says to Willy. “He disappeared from the block for almost a month.
And I got the idea that he’d gone up to New England to see you”. When Bernard says this to Willy, he gets very defensive and pushes it off like it never happened. The reason he got mad was because he knew that when Biff came to see him in Boston was when Biff’s whole life spiraled downhill. Willy could never accept that fact that he had been the reason he ruined Biffs life and for that reason he could never find happiness or live the American Dream that he always envisioned. Happy Loman, brother of Biff, is a successful businessman that is always trying to impress his father, Willy. Happy struggles to find happiness in a world where his own father never appreciated the accomplishments that he had done. He resented his father for this reason and disowned him. Happy had everything going for him a good job, excellent with ladies, and always strived for more. When Happy says “No, that’s not my father. He’s just a guy. Come on, we’ll catch Biff, and, honey, we’re going to paint this town!”.
He means what he says about his father at that moment even though deep down he loves Willy. Happy blames himself and feels remorse after the passing of his father. He would never be as good as Biff even though Happy accomplished much more than Biff had at that time, but Willy would never see or say anything positive towards Happy. For those reasons deep down Happy was not a happy person but a man that distracted himself from being happy with work and women. One character in the play “Death of a Salesman” has a difficult life his name is Biff. Biff is Willy Loman’s eldest son that never achieved anything after he failed out of high school. Left his family and bounced from job to job before being fired and coming back home. “An unemployed person almost certainly will assess his life more negatively than someone who is employed”.
Biff is notorious for this throughout the story he is always being judged by his father Willy. He had a scholarship opportunity to become a football player but lost out on that after he never went to summer school for failing that one class back in high school. Biff was happy as a young boy and was his father’s favorite son. Willy never pushed Biff in the direction of education but pushed him in a way that only suited himself. Biff would realize later in life that it was his fathers’ fault for him becoming the kind of man he would grow up to be. Biff resented his father but finally comes home and tries to repair the broken relationship that he has with his father. Biff seems to be happy with himself at times mostly when he was young boy but that never stopped him from trying to do more.
In “Death of a Salesman” happiness is not very prevalent throughout the play. Happiness is what you make of it. Everyone’s situation from day to day is different and one must take strides to continue to be happy. Happiness is a tough emotion to measure since there are so many different variables that can influence someone to be happy. Willy Loman worked his entire life trying to pursue the American Dream and found out the hard way that no matter how hard you work everything can be taken from you in the blink of an eye. The Loman family struggles finding happiness with one another, but they do attempt to make something out of nothing. For this reason, the family as a whole are happy but individually, they seem to be disconnected from the happiness that they desire. “Death of a Salesman” puts things in perspective for the average American trying to make a living and on the pursuit for happiness in a world where things aren’t just handed to the everyday person.