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Death Of A Salesman Final Test

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Emma Burke

on 21 April 2010

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Transcript of Death Of A Salesman Final Test

Death Of A Salesman Societal Expectations Self-determination Biff -has good aspirations
-gave up on life
-couldn't settle down " I tell ya, Hap, I don't know what the future is. I don't know what I'm supposed to want." "...And it's a measly manner of exsistance. To get on that subway on the hot mornings in summmer. To devote your whole llife to keeping stock, or making phone calls, or selling or buying. To suffer fifty weeks of the year for the sake of a two-week vacation, when all you really desire is to be outdoors, with your shirt off. And always to have get ahead of the next fella. And still-that's how you build a future." "This farm I work on, it's spring there now, see? And they've got about fifteen new colts. There's nothing more inspiring or-beautiful than the sight of a mare and a new colt...And whenever spring comes where I am, I suddenly get the feeling, my God, I'm not gettin' anywhere! What the hell am I doing, playing around with horses, twenty-eight dollars a week! I'm thirty-four years old, I oughta be makin' my future.That's when I come running home. And now, I get here, and I don't know what to do with myself." Biff is constanly being torn between what his father believes he should be doing with his life and what Biff is truly passionate about. Throughout the novel Death of a Salesman, Biff is struggling between his own self-determination and society's expectations. "Well, he's been doing very big things in the West. But he decided to establish himself here. Very Big." His father, Willy, is so embarassed that his "perfect" son is still working as a farmhand that he lies to his friends about what Biff is making of his life. Willy believes that Biff was supposed to do great things with his life. Now the people he put down in order to put Biff on a pedestal are more sucessful than Biff. Throughtout the book, willy constanly lies to his friends and family. Soon he begins to believe these lies which causes him to slip into a subconsious fantasy world where he is all the things he is not in reality. This constant war between these conflicting influences is destroying Biff. He knows what he loves. But what Biff doesnt know is if he is willing to give that up in order to please his father's expectations. Theme The American Dream
Willy believes in the promise of "The American Dream", the idea that a "well-liked" business man will aquire the much needed and deserved material comforts of the economic boom now taking place in America. Willy Loman represents the sterotypical "American man". Willy strongly believes that if you are "well-liked", everything else will fall into place. This quote demonstrates Biff's true admiration of nature and the ranch that he works on in Texas. He also feels a constant pressure from his father to live up to "The American Dream". He knows that his father is disappointed by his lack of desire to conform to societies expectations, all the while feeling compelled to "find" himself and his true passions.
In this quote, Biff explains his inhibtions about being a salesman and conforming to society's "plan" for him and his future. At this point in the book, you first begin to see Biff's inner conflict about his future. At the end of the book, Biff finally realizes that the only way he will ever be truly happy is if he follows his own dreams, not someone else's. At his father's funeral, Happy and Linda are contiuously making excuses for Willy's behavior and lifestyle. As they ponder Willy's motives behinsd the suicide, Biff comes to the understanding that it was because Willy never found himself. He then realizes the importance of following one's own dreams. He constantly tries to explain this to his mother and brother and they brush him off saying," He had a good dream. It's the only dream you can have, to come out number-one man." Biff is the only one realizing that following "The American Dream" has originate
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