Compare AND contrast Ben and Dave Singleman....How does each man embody a different 'idea of success?' Do either have realistic goals? Why?

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kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The key connecting point between Ben Loman and Dave Singleman is that their stories are both revealed to us second-hand, through Willy’s eyes. With this in mind, doubts can be cast on the true happiness and success of each man. As Willy’s perspective is skewed at best, the truth behind these characters is not clearly revealed.What is important is their success in Willy’s eyes.

Ben is successful for his pioneering spirit, his courage to take risks and to follow a dream.-

 That man was a genius, that man was success incarnate!

 Willy sees that he could have had success like Ben, but chose a different path which involved embracing security for the sake of his family.

 William, you’re being first-rate with your boys. Outstanding, manly chaps!

 Tragically, Willy does not succeed in this endeavour.

 Dave Singleman was admired by Willy because he was loved and respected throughout his career. Willy chooses to aspire to this goal

 ‘Cause what could be more satisfying than to be able to go, at the age of eighty-four, and pick up a phone, and be remembered and loved and helped by so many different people?

 Just as Willy does not have the courage of Ben, he does not have the love and respect which Dave Singleman engendered.

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Death of a Salesman

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