Throughout 1s life, the past influences the present and the hereafter of one ‘s behaviour and lives. The drama, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, stress how the past plays a immense function in the characters. Miller gives intimations to the readers through Willy ‘s flashbacks that foreshadow the current position of the relationship. Willy Loman is a salesman who is non successful in his work, and although he has chances to acquire a better occupation he refused it because of his so called pride. To Willy, the yesteryear is such a portion of his present that the boundaries become blurred. It can be said the same for his boy, Biff ; he is besides unsure of what he wants for his hereafter. His futuristic position for his life was besides blurred with the influence of the yesteryear. Both Willy and Biff are blinded by the past and can non travel frontward.
The past influences a batch on the manner Willy thinks that being well-liked is the key to success in the concern universe. Willy admired a existent successful man of affairs, Dave Singleman. Willy quotes, “ aˆ¦when he died, 100s of salesman and purchasers were at his funeral. Thingss were sad on a lotta trains for months after that. In those yearss at that place was personality in it, Howard ” ( Miller 61 ) . This is where he gets his false thought from. In watching Singleman work, the lone thing Willy saw was that the key to success was Singleman ‘s personality and him being well-liked for it. Therefore, he believes that holding a good personality and being well-liked like Singleman would do anyone successful ; “ personality ever wins the twenty-four hours ” ( Miller 48 ) .
Even though Willy believes that the key to success is to be well-like, that surely is non true. In the old yearss when Biff and his friend Bernard were still in school, Bernard came to Biff to warn him that he has to analyze for math or else he would neglect. However, Willy did non take the warning earnestly because he thought it being well-liked is the key to success ; non classs. Willy advised his boies, “ That ‘s merely what I mean, Bernard can acquire the best Markss in school, y’understand, but when he gets out in the concern universe, y’understand, you are traveling to be five times in front of himaˆ¦Be liked and you will ne’er desire. You take me, for case… ” ( Miller 21 ) . Willy looks down on Bernard since Biff is well-liked, and hence he believes that Biff will hold a more successful life than Bernard ‘s. Willy is blinded by his ain manner of thought that being well-liked will do one a successful man of affairs.
Willy is non able to travel on since he cares a batch on how people see him as ; his self-importance restrains him from traveling on. Throughout the drama, Willy ever tries to look like a tough adult male in forepart of everyone ; person that can take on the function all on his ain. He tells his boies, “ And they know me, male childs, they know me up and down New England. The finest people. And when I bring you fellas up, there ‘ll be unfastened benne for all of us ’cause one thing, boys: I have friends ” ( Miller 19 ) . In this quotation mark, Willy is seeking to state his boies, Biff and Happy, that he is good known, and people will cognize him anyplace he goes. Willy has a high self-importance and does non desire to demo his boies that he is non really a successful male parent. Another case when Charley tries assisting Willy acquire a occupation, Will denies the offer ; “ I ca n’t work for you, that ‘s all, do n’t inquire me why ” ( Miller 76 ) . Willy is covetous of Charley ‘s successful life, and does non desire aid from him. Willy does non desire to accept the fact that Charley is better than him. Willy ‘s high self-importance lost him the occupation chance that Charley was willing to offer.
Biff, besides, is bounded by his yesteryear, and hence he is non certain what he wants to make with his life. Biff used to look up to his male parent when he was still in school. However, he changed of all time since he found out that his male parent, Willy, was holding an matter. Bernard, Biff ‘s friend, inquiries Willy, “ Well, merely that when he came back – I ‘ll ne’er bury this, it ever mystifies meaˆ¦ What happened in Boston, Willy? ” ( Miller 72 ) . It was in Boston where Biff found out that Willy was holding an matter, and lost all respects for him. His male parent was person he admired his whole full life, but he figured that he was nil more but a “ bogus small sham ” ( Miller 95 ) . This is one ground why Biff gets into an statement with Willy frequently. This past with his male parent blurs the present and hereafter of Biff.
Unlike Willy, Biff does non care how others see him as and alternatively attentions more for himself. Willy has been working for the same topographic point for over 30 old ages. However, Biff moves from one work to another. Whenever he feels that the occupation is deadening and is a waste of clip, he moves on to the following 1 ; he ‘s non settled. Billy quotes, “ I ‘ve ever made a point of non blowing my life, and every clip I come back here I know that all I ‘ve done is to blow my life ” ( Miller 11 ) . Biff could care less about his self-importance unlike Willy.
Willy and Biff are likewise in many ways, and are besides different in many facets. Both of their lives are influenced by the yesteryear. Willy admired Singleman and developed a false thought that being well-liked is what leads one to success. Biff admired his male parent, Willy, but was he felt betrayed when he found out about Willy ‘s matter. The one individual he truly admired was gone ; in another word, his ends were gone. Both were lost in life and did non cognize what to do out of it.