My second impression on “Death of a Salesman”
I totally sympathize with Willy. It is as if I can totally comprehend the way he feels. Just imagine trying so hard but in the end, failing to achieve what you set out for. I would be so devastated and it would be like my entire world around me has collapsed.
Throughout the whole book, Willy has also been trying his very best to teach his sons the right way. He wanted to make sure he teaches his sons well. He is always afraid that he is “not teaching them the right kind of” things. Willy is striving to be the best however, his perception of a good life is totally wrong. He thinks that having a good life is about prestige, honor and a good paying career. However, to me, a good life is when one is able to appreciate the very essence of life. Willy has always been trying to give the impression to others that he is a very successful man. He told Howard that he “averaged a hundred and seventy dollars a week in commissions”. This is totally not true but he had so much pride that he just wanted Howard to think highly of him. In my opinion, I think this way of doing things is totally wrong. If you want people to think highly of you, then you should use concrete evidence to prove yourself. As the saying goes, ‘action speaks louder than words’.
After reading “Death of a Salesman” for the second time, I started to think about the similarities between the two sets of brothers. They are, Ben and Willy and Biff and Happy. What are the similarities between them? Ben is like Biff while Willy is like Happy.
Ben is like Biff. Ben is always out in the “jungle” exploring on how to become successful. Ben told Willy to “Screw on” his fists and he “can fight for a fortune up there.” On the other hand, Biff just wants “the work and the food and time to sit and smoke.” Biff just wants to be out on the fields using his strength doing the things he likes. From here, we can see that Biff resembles Ben. Both of them like using their hands to work. Both of them like the adventure. They just want to do what they want to do. Ben and Biff wanted to do the things they enjoy.
If we look at Willy and Happy, we would see that they start to resemble each other. Both Willy and Happy likes using their hands to do things and also, do well by using their hands. Willy is able to “put up a ceiling” “in the living room”. Willy himself said, “A man who can’t handle tools is not a man”. This just tells us that Willy is good at using his hands. If Willy was good at using his hands, why does he still want to pursue a career in which he is not good at? Now lets look at Happy. Happy is “one of the two assistants to the assistant”. Happy is also into being a salesman like his father. However, what Happy is also not really interested in business but just wants to do it for the sake of doing it. Happy does not want “some smart cooky getting up ahead of him”. Happy would prefer to be out “playin ball again…”. From here, we can see that both Willy and Happy likes to use their hands to work and also, they are good at it. However, they chose to do something they are not good in.
Overall, after reading a second time of “Death of a Salesman”, I can definitely say that I have a better understanding than before.