The Theme of Abandonment Death of a salesman is a story of a young man by the name Willy Lowman. It happened in the 1940’s in New York City. He had a dream to the best salesman and be financially stable. But at the end, he dies having not achieved his dream. He has trouble in concentration during driving that makes him commit grave mistakes on the road that may result in catastrophic endings for him and other road users. He talks to himself, an action which raises concerns for his wife, Linda. He is concerned about his sons who are not succeeding in the business world. Happy, his son has a life and lives in an apartment that he owns on the contrary to his other son, Biff, who moves from one job to another in positions of a farmhand but has not yet made much money to help himself. He is in stress because he was sacked from being a wage employee to a mere commission employee which makes it clear that he will be earning some money less the amount he used to earn and this means that there will be needs that he will not be able to cater for in the family anymore.
His salary problem put together with his driving situation makes him start hallucinating and thinking about his life earlier on. His brother, Ben, went to Africa and worked in diamond mining earned his fortune. He wishes Ben could have told him how proud he is about him, Happy and Biff. Willy has a bright future for his sons which happens to be the opposite of his expectations. His sons knew that their father usually talked to himself, but they never knew that it could be so loud and this turn of events surprises them. Linda brings them in the know that the accidents their father has been causing are attempts at suicide and not accidents. At this stage, the boys decide to work together and agree to stay close to home and start a new business, which Biff asks for a loan from his previous boss to help in the establishment of the business.
He talks to Howard for a change from a traveling salesman to the position of a floor salesman, an issue which Howard is unfortunately not able to help and after relaying the information about how there are no positions left, He yells at him, and Howard has to sack him eventually. On the other hand, Biff and Happy have plans of meeting their father for awaited good news on that day. Biff, on the contrary, did not get the loan that he wanted from his former employer. Willy instead of coming to terms with the new reality, he is not willing to listen to the truth from Biff. The boy leaves him in the restraint where his hallucinations come back about some lady he usually cheated on Linda with. She is frantic about her sons leaving their father behind at the restaurant, saying that they cause him more stress. He decides that the insurance money, twenty-five thousand dollars, would be of great benefit to his family and decides to commit suicide. However, his death is discovered, and his family gets nothing.
Perceptions that are false can ruin a person. When Willy was still an infant together with his brother Ben, they were abandoned by their father. The abandonment of he made him lack emotional comfort, material wealth as well as parental care. But according to Miller, he doesn’t blame Willy for the challenges that he is facing that are preventing him from achieving his dream. He puts all the blame on his father for abandoning him. He argues that if Willy had received the parental care like any other children and received the support, he needed maybe he could have lived a better life.
It is evident in the play that when Lowman’s father left, he never took Willy and his brother Ben with him. He is questioning his brother as to why he didn’t follow his father and where did his father go. Also, he is too much concerned about the lifestyle of his brother Ben by asking him where their father went and where they started (Miller, 32). When his father departed, he was almost four years old. Ben is worried about the extent at which his brother can have the memories of his father’s departure. The author says that Willy was an infant when their father departed and therefore as a parent, he could have taken them with him.
According to act one of the play, it is the time at which Willy needs a lot of parental love and care, but instead, his father doesn’t care about that instead, he walks away. He struggles to imagine how his father used to behave and all his characters but what he can remember is the physical appearance. It confirms the pain that he felt for not growing under the care of his Dad. He even took Ben away from children to give a clear image of his father. He is begging his brother to tell him about his dad because he wants his boys to hear and know about their grandfather. The only identification that Willy has in his memory about the appearances of their father is that their father had a big head with beads.
Miller says that when a person is abandoned at the early stages of development both psychologically and emotionally, the person grows with the fear that the only person that he or she is left with might also abandon him anytime. For instance, Willy tells his brother to stay with him for even a few days since he is the only person that he needs (Miller 36). The author gives arguments on the pain that Willy is feeling. He says that in the achievement of his dream, he needed the support of his father. He is in tears as his dream will never be achieved because their father left him when he was an infant without any material wealth. He even denied him a chance to know and interact with him better. Willy is regretting his life, and he is feeling the pain.
Finally, in the play, as it is evident that Willy was abandoned from the time he was four years old up to the time he died. He developed a feeling of rejection and misery. All the abandonment that he received acted as a barrier to the achievement of his dream. When he saw that he couldn’t be able to achieve his dream, he decided to commit suicide so that people can give out money during his funeral so that his son Biff can continue with the dream.
Miller, A. Death of a salesman: certain private conversations in two acts and a requiem. New York: Penguin Classics, 1998. Print.
Miller, A. Death of a salesman. The Hereford plays. Dramatists play service Inc., 1980. Print.