Certain works of literature contain special scenes which contribute to the work as a whole. These special scenes include weddings, funerals, parties, and other social occasions. In social situations like these, people's true characteristics are exhibited. One work of literature which contains a special scene is in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. In this work, the main character, Willy Loman, goes through a troubled life of false achievements. The funeral scene reveals the true feelings the characters have for Willy and the society they live in. Willy Loman's sons, wife, and the world in which he lives express how they feel about him at this occasion.
Willy's sons Biff and Happy show their endless love for their father at the funeral. Although Biff thinks Willy had "all the wrong dreams," he knows there were still "a lot of nice days"(page 138). Happy tries to convince Biff that their father "did not die in vain," but that "He had a good dream"(page 139).
He feels his father wanted to be number-one man, but now he has to wear his father's shoes and become this number-one man to make Willy happy. Thus, there is one son that knows his father was working for the wrong dreams in life, and one son ready to take over his father's job. It is shown that both Biff and Happy value their father and his goals and they realize how hard it was for him to try to reach them.
The true feelings that the funeral also reveals is that of Willy's wife's. Throughout her life, Linda stands behind Willy in whatever he does, even if she knows the impossibility for him to overcome the odds. She even goes so far as to fight with her son Biff when he tells her that Willy is living on false hopes. At the funeral, she says, "I can't cry....Why did you do it?" because she sees no reason for him to kill himself. She does cry, however, right as she says, "We're free and clear"(page 139). This statement shows that Willy had died for nothing, everything would have been all right if he had not killed himself. Not only does Linda express her devotion to her husband, but also her willingness to stand up for what she feels is right. Linda's unending devotion shows her true love for her husband.
Lastly, the rest of the world's views are brought out at Willy's funeral. No one showed up at his funeral except his family and Charley, his neighbor, but Willy did not need anyone else to be there. Charley knows the world would not blame Willy for what he has done to himself because "its a rough world"(page 139). Charley says Willy is "a man riding on a smile and a shoeshine," meaning if he "puts on a smile" for his customers and they do not "smile" back at him, his ego is ruined. The world does not blame Willy; it knows how hard it is to be a salesman in these troubled times. Thus, the society in which they live values Willy's attempts for success but feel pity for him because he never stood a chance with the road he took in life.
The funeral reveals Willy's sons', wife's, and world's expressions of Willy. Both of his sons know their father meant well but ended up with false achievements. Linda loved her husband so much she fought with her own sons to defend him. Also, the world does not blame Willy; the world just does not see what Willy saw in life. The funeral summarized the false achievements of Willy Loman. By revealing the actual qualities of a character, special scenes like the funeral contribute not only to Death of a Salesman, but also to other works of literature. Like Willy Loman, what someone says about themselves is not always the truth, but what the person does shows what kind of a person they really are.