Unformatted text preview: Miller based Willy's character on his uncles, Manny Newman and Lee Balsam, who were salesmen. Miller saw his uncles as independent explorers, charting new territories across America. It is noteworthy that Miller does not disclose what type of salesman Willy is. Rather than drawing the audience's attention to "what" Willy sells, Miller chooses to focus on the fact that Willy is a "salesman." As a result, Miller expands the import of Willy's situation. Willy is an explorer — conqueror of the New England territory — and a dreamer, and this allows the audience to connect with him because everyone has aspirations, dreams, and goals. Willy's despair results from his failure to achieve his American dream of success. At one point, Willy was a moderately successful salesman opening new territory in New England, and Biff and Happy viewed him as a model father. Once Biff discovers the affair, however, he loses respect for Willy as viewed him as a model father....
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- Fall '11
- Death of a Salesman, Willy, salesman Willy is.