Death of a Salesman Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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What is Willy's effect on Linda, Biff, Happy, and Charlie in Death of a Salesman?

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Willy casts a significant shadow and effect on his wife, children, and friend.  Willy's effect on Charley is to represent everything that Charley knows is not right.  Charley understands that the path he must take is one that is about as opposite as the one that Willy takes.  Willy's effect on Charley is also financial, in that Charley has to loan him money every week as his only sustainable means of income.  Charley and Willy argue and their disagreements revolve around one world view being advocated in the face of another. Charley realizes that Willy might not have much in way of respect for him.  Yet, Charley understands that Willy is lost in his own dreams.  The effect this has on Charley is  to endure whatever insults and disrespect that Willy might impose upon him.  Charley knows that what he is doing with his life is more creative and substantive than anything Willy is doing. Willy's lack of civility to Charley does not cause him to repudiate his own being in the world....

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