What does Howard's attitude towards Willy, in his office, show in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman?

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When Willy goes to Howard's office to ask for an easier position, the audience sees an important aspect of Willy's dilemma. While the posting cited below offers a strong interpretation of the dynamics of this scene, it's possible to add additional commentary. We can presume that Willy was a sufficient salesman in his younger days. He was able to provide his family with the American Dream, if what that meant was a house of their own and opportunity for the younger generation to do better than its parents. At the same time, in the Requiem, Biff claims that Willy "had the wrong dreams." The crux of the play is to evaluate those, and our own, dreams.

Essentially, Willy's dream was to be "remarkable," by which he mean "well liked." He looks down on Charley and Bernard for their material success but lack of being "well liked." For all of Willy's unrealistic exaggeration and lies and delusions, what Willy seems to most seek is love and dignity. This is what Linda seems to acknowledge in him,...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 950 words.)

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