Death of a Salesman focuses on four characters, the main character Willy Loman, his wife Linda, and their two sons Happy and Biff Loman.
Throughout the play, Arthur Miller tells us of the hard life, emotions and triumphs of sixty year old Willy Loman who is a salesman that makes his income wholly based on commission.
His idea of what helps to make a person successful doesn’t match up with reality.
In a conversation with his son Happy, Willy stresses the fact that Bernard, his cousin is smart and has good grades but won’t succeed in the business world.
Willy felt that because he named his boss “Howard”, he would have a secure future with the company but as Charley said "those things don’t mean anything?
You named him Howard, but you can’t sell that" (Miller 1053).In the context of Bernard's business success and Biff's failure, Biff has nowhere near the reputation that Bernard does.Although it's easy to criticize him for this belief, Willy does have somewhat of a point.Howard didn’t even want him to represent the company because he was afraid that Willy would "crack up" again which referred to him talking to himself all the time. This is a valid point because we see each of the Loman men following their own versions of that dream.Willy has a completely different definition than his brother Ben.By the end of the play, Willy's son Ben has dropped his father's viewpoint and redefined his version of the dream.Having an American Dream may not be a bad motivation for life, but Willy held on to this dream as if it was everything.Death of a Salesman has many literary devices that help to make it deep and riveting play that has become an American classic.Those who are well liked seem to have certain advantages and doors tend to open a little bit more easily for them. Willy Loman wants to be a great success like Dave Singleman, an eighty four year old salesman like himself.When Dave died, hundreds of salesman and buyers were at his funeral.