Contrasting Willy Loman and Charley Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is a tragedy whose theme is the tarnishing of the American dream. Death of a Salesman gives different insights and different meanings to the American dream of success and shows what can happen when the dream is false, distorted or unfulfilled. In the following paragraphs, two of the play's characters will be contrasted. One of these characters is Willy Loman whose American dream was serious trouble for him and his family because of his fervent pursuit of success wealth and status. On the other hand there is Charley a very successful businessman, Charley symbolizes the reality that Willy never acknowledges.
Willie Loman, a disgruntled traveling salesman whose wife's name is Linda and he also has two sons, Happy and Biff Loman. Nobody believes more fervently in the American dream than Willy, yet the dream has somehow eluded him.
Now he's sixty years old, a beating traveling salesman, with nothing to show for a lifetime of hard work but a small house.
Willy's dream is to become like Dave Singleman, who was very popular with his clients and able to do business by just making phone calls. Ironically Willy believed that his funeral would be as big as Dave Singleman's because when he Died, customers from all over the region went to the funeral. Willy believe that by being well liked everybody would open the doors to him and therefore be successful. Not only does he believe but also illusionates being successful. He also lies to himself, he says of himself that he's well like and that every customer he visits likes him. He also lies about his salary to himself and to his boss. But the best example of dishonesty is when Biff finds Willy in a hotel room with a young women. Willy did this to prove that he was well like, and then short after Biff seeing this, Biff calls Willy a liar and a fake.
Furthermore, Willy illusionates about his two sons. He thinks that Happy will be a successful manager, but in reality he's just like his father a complete failure who also daydreams about success. Than there is Biff, Willy's older son who was all-star football player in High School. Willy had placed most of his dreams into Biff, however Biff fails as he flunked his math test, and couldn't continue with his education. He is a thief whom was fired from every job he ever had. This character differs from Charley's son Bernard, who is a successful lawyer. Biff ends up admitting that he is a complete failure but Willy refuses to admit the truth about Biff. Willy committed suicide so that Biff would get his insurance money and therefore make something out of him, Willy believes.
To end, Willy illusionates about Ben Loman who was Willy's dead brother. Ben Loman was a rich man, his success was far beyond the reach of Willy, and he can only dream about it. When Willy had problems he talk to Ben who couldn't critize Willy. Ben worked as a symbol of success to Willy, the kind of success Willy could only dream about.
On the contrary, there is Charley a more down to earth kind a person who is the total opposite of Willy. Charley is a friend to Willy, Charley is a successful man and a father, He also owns his own small company. Willy lives in a world of dreams, charley is a man of practicality. He doesn't care about personal appearance nor does he care if people like him. He feels successful without the approval of the people. He also thinks that sports are a waste of time, not like Willy who football is always in his head. Charley also tells Willy to get over Biff being a football star.
To add, charley tells Willy that is what someone has that counts not being well like. Charley also offered Willy a job when the old salesman was fired, but Willy Can't bring himself to work for Charley, since this would be admitting failure.
Throughout the play, Charley tries to give Willy constructive criticism, hoping to get Willy on the right track. ''Willy, when are you going to grow up?" By the end of the play Charley forgives Willy of His fantasies, and he said that Willy's problem was that he didn't know how to sell.
In conclusion, Willy Loman and Charley were contrasted. Willy, who lived in a world of fantasies who was afraid to accept reality differs from Charley who care more about his business, than what the people think of him.