Instability Lead Life to Its End The character Willy Loman from the play Death of a Salesman has been read throughout the years with distinct interpretations. Many people have given different reasons to what led to Willy's tragic fate. One interpretation I took was that Willy's instability in his life led to his death. Some point that led in to my interpretation were his early family life, his relationship with Biff, and his job. Willy's early family life was a difficult one with its many inconsistencies. In Willy's early childhood his father left; this left him with many questions about his father and how to be a father.
In one scene we see Willy talking to Ben and Willy voices questions and comments about when their father left. Willy asks "Where is Dad?" and says "Dad left when I was such a baby and I never had a chance to talk to him." Willy also voices his concerns about being a father. He says "sometimes I'm afraid that I'm not teaching them the right kind of-Ben, how should I teach them?" In this early life Willy and his family move around a lot. People and places changed around them fairly swiftly.
Another inconsistency in his early family life was his relationship with his brother, Ben. Ben left Willy without looking back. Ben comes in and out of Willy's life. Willy's relationship with Biff has its highs and lows throughout the play making it difficult to establish a feel for their feeling towards each other. In the eyes of an early Biff there is nothing but love and devotion towards his father. Even Willy says Biff would "go into the jaws of hell for me." This type of affections changes after Biff finds out about his father's infidelity.
Biff loses total respect for his father and calls Willy a "liar" and a "fake." Willy saw early Biff as being a son he could be proud of with all Biff's football victories and successes with girls. As time passes and Biff comes home from the west it is evident that Willy no longer feels pride towards Biff. Biff has no job and wasn't making much money at his last job therefore Willy feels no pride towards Biff. Near the end of the play Willy's feelings towards Biff change once again. Willy comes to believe that Biff loves him. Willy starts to says things like "that boy is going to be magnificent." Willy was once again feeling love towards Biff.
Willy's job causes him extra stresses involving loneliness and money. Willy continually was on the road causing him to have a lack of constant surrounding. We see this with all the people that come in and out of his life and his head. We also see a consequence of this with Willy's loneliness. Willy gives the reason for his infidelity as being that he "was lonely, terribly lonely." Another repercussion of Willy's job was his money problems.
At times Willy worked on commission causing extra stress on selling his product. Towards the end of the Broadway production, we saw a scene where people were rotating around Willy while Willy was also rotating. This scene shows nicely the instability that Willy was going through. Willy Loman's tragic death was in direct consequence to his instabilities..