Success is one of many themes in "Death Of A Salesman". There are many perspectives of what success is and how to achieve it. Arthur Miller uses the beliefs of several characters, especially Willy, to illustrate various concepts of success, how to achieve it, and the correlation between happiness and success.
Willy believes that one can be a success only if one has a business-related job. He criticizes Biff's ideal job . He says: "How can he find himself on a farm? Is that a life? A farmhand? ... it's more than ten years now and he has yet to make thirty-five dollars a week!" (pg. 11). This is Willy's only rationale for saying that Biff is not yet a success. From this, one can conclude that Willy believes success is money based.
Biff, however, wants to work the farm ' . "[Business] is a measly manner of existence... when all you really desire is to be outdoors, with your shirt off."(pg.
16). One suspects that Happy's notion of success is similar to Willy's because Happy tries to impress Willy. However, Happy knows that money is not the only key to success. He says: "It's crazy. But then, it's what I always wanted. My own apartment, a car, and plenty of women. And still, goddammit, I'm lonely."(pg. 17).
Although there are many keys to success, one can understand that there are only a few keys to achieving it. A successful person is usually intelligent and tenacious. However, these characteristics are not what Willy deems helpful. He thinks that being "well-liked" and having "personal attractiveness" are the only ways to become successful. One can see that these qualities are not sufficient to success because Biff and Happy have both qualities, in Willy's opinion, yet both are unsuccessful. We know that Bernard...