In Death of a Salesman, is Happy's denial of his father at all justified in the way in which Willy has treated his sons throughout his life?Happy abandons his father in the restraunt scene when...

 

In Death of a Salesman, is Happy's denial of his father at all justified in the way in which Willy has treated his sons throughout his life?

Happy abandons his father in the restraunt scene when Willy becomes an embarrasment and gets in the way of his sons night on the town.

Asked on by merchant9

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Happy's behavior is indicative that he was raised with very little discipline, and with almost no expectations from his parents. This leads him to act irresponsibly and without thinking about the consequences of his actions. It also limits his possibilities in life, because he has no high aspirations that made any sense. Just like his father, he wants a quick and easy way to make money, a quick and easy way to meet women, and as little as possible difficulty in his life.

Even more unfortunate is the fact that Happy's closest male role model is his older brother, Biff. Biff is no different than Happy in terms of living oblivious to what is real. Biff and Happy feed off each other, reaching no goals and achieving nothing. They are the products of a father who was too busy chasing a dream that was not even his own, and of a mother that enabled her husband in every way possible.

Therefore, the lack of motivation, discipline, consequence, responsibility, and interest in Happy's life are not necessarily justified, but are expected of a person that belongs to a highly dysfunctional family.

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