Is it possible to control your whole life? Is there a way to know how your life will turn out before it happens? In the play of “Death of the Salesman” Willy loman faces these questions. Willy Loman was a simple man who was a salesman. Since Willy thought that his life was so simple he thought that he could control everything to it. Willy Loman thought that he could control the aspect of his job, he thought he could control how successful his kids were going to be in business and most of all the thought he could control how people had felt about him. In a way Willy Loman was living in his own little world were he had control when in fact his life had control over him. As this is seen Willy Loman doesnt realize that life is unpredictable you cant control every detail of were you work, what happens to your life nor can you control how people feel about you. Willy Loman feels that he has control over were he works.
He feels that if he wants to make his life a little easier he can go to his boss and ask him to move him from working in New England to New York. As Willy leaves his house for Howards (Willys boss) office he says to his wife Linda “Im gonna knock Howard for look, kid Ill get an advance and Ill come home with a New England job” (74). Willy Loman feels that he is in charge of his life. He thinks that since he worked for a sales company for a long time he can get what he wants. In fact, Willy Loman has no control over whether he will get the job in New York.
When Willy goes to Howard Willy felt very confident that he will come back with the job after all he has worked with this company for a long time. As Willy had started talking to Howard the unexpected is said by his boss “I appreciat that Willy but there just is not a sport for you. If I had a sport for you would slam you in” (122). Not only didnt Willy get the New York job but he had lost his old job to. As this is said one of the critics remarks to this event by saying “The coldness of his former boss son the bills, the car, the tinkering around the house.
And most of it all: the illusions by which he has lived opportunities missed, wrong formulas for success, fatal misconceptions about his place in the scheme of things” (Atkinson 23). Willy sometimes lives in flashbacks of his life he sees the right path to a better life, he sees the changes he is going to do or are going to happen but when he goes back to the present he doesnt see the changes happen. An example is the flashback of when Willys brother comes to visit. Ben is a self-made rich man and he offers willy a chance of a lifetime to work in Alaska. Willy decides not to as he says ” Well do it here, Ben you hear me? Were going to do it here!” The reason that Willy decided not to go with Ben was because he felt he was “building something with the firm” (85).
As Willy goes to the present he realizes that that business has failed him and he really was not building anything. Another flashback seen that Willy goes back to is when Bernard comes over to Biffs house and tells him that he forgot to come over and study. When disappointed Bernard was leaving Willy had said “Bernard can get the marks in school, yunderstand, but your going to be 5 times ahead of him in the business world” (33). What Willly meant by that was even though Bernares was smarter then his sons, they were going to be ahead in the business world. He was a firm believer in that its not what you know its who you know and how well you are liked and Willy had thought that his sons had the type of look to be liked unlike Bernard. After all his sons were big and strong and they had the look to impact the business world.
As it turned out in the present that both happy and Biff were not really ahead of Bernard. While Bernard had a proffesional carrier working as a lawyer, Biff and Happy had no proffesion at all. As said by a critic agreeing on this idea “Willy Loman has been a firm believer in the American Myth that success is obtained by being well liked and his two sons were have been raises on the philosophy. But Biff and happy has turned into insouciant do nothing” (Champman 159). Willy had never expected Bernard to be that successful and nor did he want to in a matter of speaking “judge a book by its cover.”.