.. lking to Biff and Happy in a flashback, telling them about the people he knew in the towns all around New England. He says, “America is full of beautiful towns and fine, upstanding people. And they know me, boys, they know me up and down New England. And when I bring you fellas up, there’ll be open sesame for all of us, ’cause one thing, boys: I have friends.” In just that small conversation Willy clearly points out all of the people he knows and emphasizes the fact that that will help them out if they wanted to go there. Even though he says he has these so-called friends, the reader gets the impression that he doesn’t really have any at all. He also asks Biff, in the flashback, how all of the people at school were treating him, if they were acting any different now that he was captain of the team.
He didn’t come out and say it that time, but it was implied that it was important that people knew that Biff was of great importance to the team. Meanwhile the reader knows Willy is not of great importance to his company. If it wasn’t clear at that time it became crystal clear when Willy went to see Howard, his boss, about not having to go on the road anymore. He told him that he was tired of traveling and asked him if he had thought of a position at the company for him. That’s when Howard said that he couldn’t think of a single spot for him. He also said, “I don’t want you to represent us.
I’ve been meaning to tell you that for a long time now.” Showing, obviously, that he hadn’t been doing a good jog selling in New England and hadn’t been for quite some time. Many of these things prove that Willy didn’t have the friends and contacts that he claimed and emphasized his boys to have. Willy Loman also told his sons that nothing was more important than being successful and making a lot of money, preferably in something he approved of. As the story of the small family progresses the reader comes to understand that Willy does not approve of Biff’s work on a ranch. He felt that at Biff’s age of 34, he should have found himself and should have been settled into a good paying job.
In a conversation with Linda he says, “How can he find himself on a farm? Is that a life? A farmhand? But it’s been more than ten years now and he has yet to make thirty-five dollars a week!” Biff says earlier that he was happy where he was but that small, seemingly unimportant fact makes no difference to Willy. All he knows is that Biff isn’t making very much money and that upsets him. While Willy himself isn’t making enough to cover the monthly bills, certainly showing that he’s not very successful. Although Biff wasn’t making money, it seemed that Happy was doing very well, but Willy never seemed to notice or if he did, he never said anything to Happy to let him know that he had noticed. Willy got down on Biff and didn’t even recognize Happy’s success while all the while not being a successful man himself. Willy Loman preached and preached to his sons about being successful and making a lot of money, while doing neither himself.
Also telling them to get to know many important and well off people so that they could help them sometime. Which he never did, either. But he led them to believe that he did, so they didn’t think less of him. Maybe in his mind he thought that he did do all of those things, but in fact he didn’t and it was extremely evident throughout the whole story. Essay #8 “purpose of the Requiem” At the end of “Death of A Salesman” the reader is left with a lot of loose ends about each character and what they will do in the future.
If Arthur Miller hadn’t added the “Requiem” they would have stayed slightly confused and still wondering. But it was, and the reader found out about Biff and Happy, Linda and even Willy, himself. It was a question throughout the whole story if Biff was going to stay at home and work with his brother or if he was going to go back to the ranch. If it happened that he did go back, would Happy go with him or stay and continue what he was doing? These questions were not directly answered in the Requiem but from things that the characters said the reader could come to a pretty safe conclusion. Once Biff says to Happy, “Why don’t you come with me, Happy?” clearly showing that he was planning on going back to the ranch.
Also pointing out that he has only the best intentions for his brother, thinking of his happiness. But in response to his question Happy replies, “I’m not licked that easily. I’m staying right in this city, and I’m gonna beat this racket.” Happy feels that Biff wants him to run away from any problems that he has at home, when all Biff really wants him to do is get away for awhile. The two brothers seem to represent Willy and his brother, Ben, many years back. Ben was traveling to Alaska and wanted Willy to join him, but he refused and seemed to regret it for the rest of his life.
The reader can’t help but wonder if Happy will regret not going with Biff and will just continue to follow in his father’s fatal footsteps. Without the addition of the Requiem the reader would not have know what Biff and Happy were going to do and would not have any insight as to what would happen to them in the future. Next, it is revealed how Linda was coping with the loss of her husband. She seemed confused and distraught right after the burial. Confused, mainly because of the lack of people at the burial service.
She asked why no one had come and said, “But where were all the people he knew?” She had not yet realized the Willy hadn’t known that many people, important or otherwise. She seemed also to have no emotion when it came to his death, she even said, many times, “Forgive me dear, I can’t cry.” She just kept going over the fact that she couldn’t understand why he did it and that she had just paid off the last payment on the house. The last payment represents that he wouldn’t have had to worry about scraping together enough money to pay that along with all the other things. His life, in other words, would have been a little easier. Eventually, she finally broke down, sobbing about finally being free. Lastly, we find out about the not-so-great salesman, Willy Loman.
His whole life he told his wife and children about all the people he knew and how that was the only way to be successful, when he really didn’t know anyone. It was always implied that Willy thought if he died it would show his family how many people he knew, because they would all come to the funeral. It was like his final push to let his sons know that it was important to know a lot of people. But that last “wish” was not fulfilled, because no one showed up. It actually turned out to be a final humiliation for Willy Loman.
The reader knew that Willy didn’t really know anyone, but the Requiem proved it by telling what happened at the funeral. The formal definition of “requiem” is a mournful chant. The Requiem of this story seemed to fit that definition perfectly. Leaving Willy in final humiliation, leaving Linda an unhappy widow and leaving Biff and Happy doomed to the life of their predecessors.