Please answer the following question based on Death of a Salesman Act II about Willy and Charley's opinion.Do you agree with Willy, who believes that contacts and personality are what makes a...

Please answer the following question based on Death of a Salesman Act II about Willy and Charley's opinion.

Do you agree with Willy, who believes that contacts and personality are what makes a salesman a success, or with Charley, who believes that a salesman must have confidence in his product and the ability to sell it?  Select an opinion to agree with an give evidence to support your belief.

Asked on by ehskagus

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kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Certainly Charley has much more success in business than Willy, and there is much more stability in the value of the product than the personality of the salesman. It is difficult to assert, however, whether a salesman with real personality would be as successful or more successful than Willy. We have to remember that Willy has never been the dynamic peronality that he aspired to be. He has never been able to make great sales on his personal attributes alone. He has never made great sales - just scraped by.

It is a story told by Willy - so therefore not totally credible - but the life of Dave Singleman is what Willy aspired to be. He wanted to be as well known and loved as Dave Singleman, still being a success in his eighties and being revered after his death.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Well, I actually think both views have some merit to them, but above all I would agre with Charley. There are two reasons for this. One is that if we look at the play, Charley is quite obviously a success and Willy isn't. Charley, we can therefore assume, is a bit more canny in the ways of business and what it takes to make a success of yourself than Willy is, who is constantly compared to Charley and found wanting. Note the way in which he constantly asks for money from Charley and then also Charley offers him a job when he is fired.

Secondly, whilst I believe that personality and contacts are important, at the end of the day, what is most important for a salesman is the ability to sell your product and having confidence in it. No matter how good a salesman you are, if you are unable to sell your product, it doesn't matter about your personality and contacts. Again, this is shown by Willy's example. He may have a great personality and good contacts, but what makes him a bad salesman, and in particular what gets him fired, is his inability to sell anything.

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