What are the main characters' (Willy, Linda, Biff, and Happy) dreams in Death of a Salesman?

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jihyunstellakim | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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Willy is the typical salesman who chases after the American Dream; he considers money and tangible gains the most important. From his admiration of Dave Singleman, we can also see that he wishes to be popular and well liked by everyone. Since his father abandoned him when he was young, he shows a desperate need for attention that his dream is to have a funeral where people all over the country come and attend.

Linda represents the typical women in the 1940s. She is passive and agrees with most of what Willy says. Her dream is to be a good mother and a housewife like the common women of 1940s. Not much is told about Linda, which shows the low social status of women back then.

Biff, unlike his father, wants to work on the fields with his hands. He wishes to escape the Capitalist society and work where he can just enjoy the nature and other surroundings. His dreams often contradict those of Willy and this is one of the reasons for their conflicts.

Harry resembles Willy in that he wants to be a salesman and meet people. Unlike Biff who wants to settle down with one woman, Happy doesn't want a serious relationship. He wants to earn money in the city and use it for his pleasure.

 

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