Saturday, January 7, 2012

Discuss the significance of Willy's being a younger son with an absent father. How does that influence his behavior with his own sons? In what ways does Happy's situation reflect Willy's? How has Willy treated Biff? Why is the athletic trophy in Willy's room instead of in Biff's?

Willy's situation as a young boy is very similar to his own son, Happy's, situation. This is evident throughout the play because it is shown that Happy was ignored by his father Willy. Yet the same could be said about Willy and his father, given the fact that his father was absent from his life. Ben, Willy's older brother, became extremely successful and rich, and was also the eldest brother. Maybe it is due to this fact that Willy invests all his hopes and dreams in Biff as he grows up. Perhaps Willy believes that it's an "eldest child syndrome" to be successful in life. Whatever the case may be, Willy ends up emulating the way he himself was brought up, and it takes a toll on the Loman family. Parents should never have a favorite child (or at least not make their choice obvious..) yet it is obvious that Willy values Biff more as a son than Happy. As Willy forever lived in the shadow of his brother Ben, his treatment of Happy has led him to live in the shadows of Biff. Even though Happy has seemed to absorb more of Willy's ideals and aspirations, and follow more in his footsteps, which he'd hoped Biff would acquire, it made no difference. Happy would always be the lesser child in Willy's eyes.

Willy has never won anything in his life. So when Biff wins an athletic trophy, it ends up in Willy's room because he wants to claim his sons accomplishment. Maybe he feels that because Biff is his son, some of the recognition and respect gained from having the trophy will transfer off on to himself. That is all Willy Loman craves. Just a small bit of respect, recognition, and a dash of admiration. It is apart of his life dream. However, it is a tad unfortunate that he has to take his son's trophy in order to feel these things though...

I do have another theory. Biff does love his dad very much, so perhaps he gave it to Willy, or said he should keep it in his room so he can remember Biff's accomplishments. It could be possible.

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