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Death Of A Salesman Research Essay

1507 words - 7 pages

Death of a Salesman Debate: Research for the Third Point (Negative Team) *Note* I also covered for the debater for this point.Resolved: In Arthur Miller's Play Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is responsible for the adult lives of his sons, Biff and Happy Loman.Third Point for the Negative Team (Ideas contributed to the debate): As a responsible and excellent father, Willy Loman did his best to guide his sons, especially Biff, to achieve success in their adult lives. However, as adults, it is up to Biff and Happy to be motivated enough and take the initiative to follow Willy's advice and work hard to pursue success. There is copious textual evidence that shows us that Willy's sons ...view middle of the document...

He makes this ultimate sacrifice as a father in order to give Biff and Happy the insurance money so that they can change their lifestyle and become successful.It is important to keep in mind that we are debating about the sons' adult lives. Therefore, as adults, they do have a responsibility to make their own decisions in their lives.Textual Evidence and Analysis: Quote (Page 15): Willy: "How can he find himself [Biff] on a farm? Is that a life? A farmhand? In the beginning, when he was young, I thought, well, a young man, it's good for him to tramp around, take a lot of different jobs. But it's more than ten years now and he has yet to make thirty-five dollars a week...Not finding yourself at the age of thirty-four is a disgrace...the trouble is he's lazy." Analysis: This quote clearly shows Willy's disappointment and concern about what Biff is doing in his life. As a father, he is being responsible to point out that Biff is lazy and he still has not found himself when he is well into adulthood. In addition, the fact that Willy points out that Biff is lazy (while Willy on the other hand is a hard worker) shows us that it is Biff's fault that he is not working hard enough to be successful. Willy has pointed this out to Billy as a responsible father. Despite this concern that Willy expresses, Biff does not improve and does not become motivated to pursue success. Therefore, only Biff can be held accountable for his lazy behavior and as a result the failure in adult life.Quote (Page 112): Willy: "You don't want to be anything, is that what's behind it?" Biff: "Don't take it that way! You think it was easy walking into that office after what I'd done to him? A team of horses couldn't have dragged me back to Bill Oliver!" Analysis: This interaction between Biff and Willy reveals the fact that Biff is clearly not taking his father's advice to be a successful salesman. He even says that nothing would have dragged him back to that office. This then shows Biff stubbornness and his lazy work ethic. It is only logical to think that it is irrational to blame Willy for the fact that Biff himself is not motivated to do jobs that would bring him success. Even Biff is admitting to the fact that he did not do the jobs that Willy suggested (Guidance). Biff made this decision as a mature adult and therefore he is the only person to blame for his unsuccessful life. The fact that this quote is later in the book also shows that Biff is unwilling to change his own life while doing so is necessary for success.Quote (Page 131): Biff: "You know why I had no address for three months? I stole a suit in Kansas City and I was in jail..." Willy: "I suppose that's my fault!" Biff: "I stole myself out of every good job since high school!" Wily: "And whose fault is that?" Analysis: This quote...

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