How is the relationship between Charley and Bernard different from the one between Willy and his sons? failures but Happy wants to show everyone that Willy's death was not meaningless. Interested in Death of a Salesman Questions?. Charley is a large, unimpressive man about Willy's age. on business in general , Miller once writes that "the most decent man in Death of a Salesman is. The great difference between them is that Charley is not a fanatic. His relationship with his son, Bernard, has been casual, and he has never expected him to be big . Death of a Salesman is a play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. It won the . Willy shocks Charley by remarking that ultimately, a man is "worth more dead than alive." . It is easier for the Chinese public to understand the relationship between father and son because “One thing about the play that is very.
Willy seems childlike and relies on others for support, coupled with his recurring flashbacks to various moments throughout his career. His first name, Willy, reflects this childlike aspect as well as sounding like the question "Will he?
Willy's loyal and loving wife. Linda is passively supportive and docile when Willy talks unrealistically about hopes for the future, although she seems to have a good knowledge of what is really going on. She chides her sons, particularly Biff, for not helping Willy more, and supports Willy lovingly even though Willy sometimes treats her poorly, ignoring her opinions over those of others. She is the first to realize that Willy is contemplating suicide at the beginning of the play, and urges Biff to make something of himself, while expecting Willy to help Biff do so.
Biff was a football star with a lot of potential in high school, but failed math his senior year and dropped out of summer school when he saw Willy with another woman while visiting him in Boston.
Death of a Salesman: Death of a Salesman Character List | Play Summary & Study Guide | CliffsNotes
He wavers between going home to try to fulfill Willy's dream for him as a businessman or ignoring his father by going out West to be a farmhand where he feels happy. He likes being outdoors and working with his hands, yet wants to do something worthwhile so Willy will be proud of him. Biff steals because he wants evidence of success, even if it is false evidence, but overall Biff remains a realist and informs Willy that he is just a normal guy and will not be a great man. He has lived in the shadow of his older brother Biff most of his life and seems to be almost ignored, but he still tries to be supportive toward his family.
He has a restless lifestyle as a womanizer and dreams of moving beyond his current job as an assistant to the assistant buyer at the local store, but he is willing to cheat a little in order to do so, by taking bribes. He is always looking for approval from his parents, but he rarely gets any, and he even goes as far as to make things up just for attention, such as telling his parents he is going to get married.
He tries often to keep his family's perceptions of each other positive or "happy" by defending each of them during their many arguments, but still has the most turbulent relationship with Linda, who looks down on him for his lifestyle and apparent cheapness, despite his giving them money.
Willy's somewhat wisecracking yet kind and understanding neighbor. He pities Willy and frequently lends him money and comes over to play cards with him, although Willy often treats him poorly.
Willy is jealous of him because his son is more successful than Willy's. Charley offers Willy a job many times during visits to his office, yet Willy declines every time, even after he loses his job as a salesman. In Willy's flashbacks, he is a nerd, and Willy forces him to give Biff test answers. He worships Biff and does anything for him.
Later, he is a very successful lawyer, married, and expecting a second son — the same successes that Willy wants for his sons, in particular Biff.
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Bernard makes Willy contemplate where he has gone wrong as a father. Willy's older brother who became a diamond tycoon after a detour to Africa. He is dead, but Willy frequently speaks to him in his hallucinations of the past.
He is Willy's role model, although he is much older and has no real relationship with Willy, preferring to assert his superiority over his younger brother. He represents Willy's idea of the American Dream success story, and is shown coming by the Lomans' house while on business trips to share stories.
Willy worked originally for Howard's father also named Howard and claims to have suggested the name Howard for his newborn son. However, he sees Willy as a liability for the company and fires him, ignoring all the years that Willy has given to the company.
Howard is extremely proud of his wealth, which is manifested in his new wire recorder, and of his family. A waiter at the restaurant who seems to be friends or acquainted with Happy. A girl whom Happy picks up at the restaurant. She is very pretty and claims she was on several magazine covers. Happy lies to her, making himself and Biff look like they are important and successful. Happy claims that he attended West Point and that Biff is a star football player.
Summary[ edit ] Willy Loman returns home exhausted after a business trip he has cancelled. Worried over Willy's state of mind and recent car accident, his wife Linda suggests that he ask his boss Howard Wagner to allow him to work in his home city so he will not have to travel.
Willy complains to Linda that their son, Biff, has yet to make good on his life. Despite Biff's promise as a football star in high school, he failed in mathematics and was unable to enter a university.
Biff and his younger brother, Happy, who is temporarily staying with Willy and Linda after Biff's unexpected return from the West, reminisce about their childhood together.
They discuss their father's mental degeneration, which they have witnessed in the form of his constant indecisiveness and daydreaming about the boys' high school years. Willy walks in, angry that the two boys have never amounted to anything. In an effort to pacify their father, Biff and Happy tell their father that Biff plans to make a business proposition the next day. The next day, Willy goes to ask his boss, Howard, for a job in town while Biff goes to make a business proposition, but both fail.
Willy gets angry and ends up getting fired when the boss tells him he needs a rest and can no longer represent the company. Biff waits hours to see a former employer who does not remember him and turns him down. Biff impulsively steals a fountain pen. Willy then goes to the office of his neighbor Charley, where he runs into Charley's son Bernard, now a successful lawyer. Bernard tells him that Biff originally wanted to go to summer school to make up for failing math, but something happened in Boston when Biff went to visit his father that changed his mind.
Charley gives the now-unemployed Willy money to pay his life-insurance premium. Willy shocks Charley by remarking that ultimately, a man is "worth more dead than alive.
Happy tries to get Biff to lie to their father. Biff tries to tell him what happened as Willy gets angry and slips into a flashback of what happened in Boston the day Biff came to see him. Willy had been having an affair with a receptionist on one of his sales trips when Biff unexpectedly arrived at Willy's hotel room.
Death of a Salesman
He made a fortune in the African jungle by the time he was 21 years old. He once offered Willy a job in Alaska. Ben appears in the play only in Willy's memories and fantasies. Charley A long-time acquaintance of the Lomans.
Charley supplies Willy with a weekly loan once Willy is put on straight commission, and he repeatedly offers him a job. Charlie is a true friend to Willy, even though Willy is jealous of him. Charley appears in Willy's memories, as well as in the actions of the present. He provided Biff with answers while they were in high school and attempted to help Biff study so that he would graduate, even though Willy and Biff would criticize him.
He is a successful lawyer. Bernard appears in Willy's memories, as well as in the present. The Woman Willy's former lover, with whom he had an affair many years ago in Boston. Biff discovered the affair when she came out of the bathroom while he was in the room. She appears only in Willy's memories and fantasies; however, as the play progresses, Willy has difficulty distinguishing between his memories of the Woman and his memories of Linda.
Howard Wagner Willy's current boss.