Will Lowman Charley says something in Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman that sums up Willys whole life. He asks him, When the hell are you going to grow up? Willys spends his entire life in an illusion. He sees himself as a great man that is popular and successful. Willy exhibits many childlike qualities. Many of these qualities have an impact on Willys family.
His two sons Biff and Happy pick up this behavior from their father. He is idealistic, stubborn, and he has a false sense of his importance in the world. Willy is like an impetuous youngster with high ideals and high hopes. Children always have high hopes for their future. They all want to be astronauts or millionaires.
Willy always believes he can achieve that kind of success. He never lets go of his wasted life. He dreams of being the man who does all of his business out of his house and dying a rich and successful man. Furthermore, Willy also dreams of moving to Alaska where he could work with his hands and be a real man. Biff and Happy follow in their fathers footsteps in their lofty dreams and unrealistic goals.
Biff wastes his life being a thief and a loner; furthermore, Biff, along with happy try to conjure up a crazy idea of putting on a sporting goods exhibition. The problem with Willy is that he never grows up and deals with his obstacles. Willy is also a very stubborn man. He is like a little child that wants to do something their way even though they know that another option would be the wiser choice. Charley practically sets a potential job into Willys lap and he refuses it. Willy just was fired and needed a job.
He refuses one. Willy is too stubborn to let go of his old job and take a new one. He still believes that he is at the top of his profession. When Willy does not get his way he acts just as a child would. He has tantrums such as when he basically challenged Charley to a fight after he told him to grow up.
Biff is also stubborn like his father. He never gives up being a child. He steals and lies. Biff cannot handle being ignored, so he steals a pen. Willys childlike stubbornness hampers him throughout his life.
Willy, like most children thinks that he is more important than he actually is. During the whole story, he brags himself up, calling himself a great salesman. He says that he is known everywhere. When his funeral is to occur, Willy believed that it will be a major event. Many will come to pay their respects to New Englands greatest salesman.
He is just an old broken down man who never was good at his job. Willy is not well known. Few attend his funeral. When one is a child, they believe that they are more important than they really are. As people grow older they realize that they are just one of many in the world.
Willy Loman never does realize this fact. Biff and Happy never realize it either. They continue to believe that the Lomans are an extraordinary family above all others. After Willy dies, Happy proclaims that he will continue his fathers quest as the great salesman. Biff believes that the Lomans are not liked because they are rough and tough men who use their hands. Willy goes through his entire life believing that is a great, well known, and well-liked salesman.
Willy Loman is a child trapped in a mans body. He never lets go of his dreams. He does not come to grips with his failure as a salesman, father, and husband. Willy runs away from responsibility, and he asks others for handouts when in need. These traits have a negative impact Biff and Happy throughout their lives.
At the end of his life he lives with delusions of what his life was and is. Willy never does grow up.