Idealization is defined as the act of regarding or worshiping someone as an Idol In your life. In the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, idealization Is a motif that has not been previously examined in the lesson. Idealization, more specifically, Is shown by the main character in this play, Wily, who is going through a troubled time In his life and uses the idealization of other people to escape from his own tragedies. Idealization Is used as a motif and occurs In this play with Off and Happy, his brother Ben, Dave Signalman, and the dream he has for his oldest son, Biff.
The first time idealization occurs In Wily, It Is when he Is discussing with his sons that they will do much better In the business world than the neighbors son, Bernard. “That’s why I thank Almighty God you’re both built Like Dongles. Because the man who makes an appearance In the business world, the man who creates personal Interest, is the man who gets ahead. ” (Miller 33) In this quotation, Wily Is doling the way that both Happy and Biff are built, and is comparing their physique to that of Greek Gods.
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It shows that at this time, he is doling the two of them cause they are very good looking, and according to Wily, that means that they will be very successful in the business world later in life. The second time idealization occurs in Wily is when his brother Ben visits the Loan household. When Wily tells Ben, “You’re just what I need, Ben, because I??I have a fine position here, But I?? well, Dad left when I was such a baby and I never had a chance to talk to him and I still feel??kind of temporary about myself. (Miller 55) It is shown here that Wily dollies Ben possibly more than anyone else because he wants Ben to become a sort of father Geiger to him now, since Wily had to grow up without a father. Wily also sees Ben as a role model because he is very wealthy and seems to live a very happy life. That is Will’s dream for himself and so seeing his brother lives his dream and has lots of money and no worries makes Wily wish to be like his brother and see him as a role model in his life.
The next time idealization occurs in Death of a Salesman is when Wily is talking to Howard, his boss, about letting him work in town instead of him having to drive back and forth to and from Boston every day. During this conversation, Wily mentions Dave Signalman, a salesman he met who asked him to go to Alaska with him. Wily says, “And old Dave, he’d go up to his room, Wanderlusts, put on his green velvet slippers and pick up his phone and call the buyers, and without ever leaving his room, at the age of eight-four, he made his living.
And when I saw that, I realized that selling was the greatest career a man could want. ” (Miller 81) This proves that Wily Dollied Dave Signalman and his way of life because Wily eventually wanted to be able to do the same thing as Dave. When he was older, he would make a living and never have to leave his own home. He wanted to provide for his family without even having to move all that much. Wily wanted to continue working and making money at a very old age, but doing Just what Dave Salesman did, and that was why Wily dollied him so much. As about the future that he wants desperately for Biff. Wily, after Just having a huge fight with Biff states, “That boy??that boy is going to be magnificent! ” (Miller 133) This shows that even after getting into an argument with his son that made Biff storm away, Wily will not let go of the dream that Biff will be extremely successful because o Wily, there is no other option. Wily is so wrapped in this dream that he has for Biff that he cannot see that Wily so far in not successful.
He has stolen something from every Job that he has left, and he is unemployed right now. Even when Biff tells his father that he has a different dream, his father seems unable to hear him, and keeps telling him how great he is going to become. Wily dollies this dream for Biff because Wily was not able to become as successful as he had originally wanted to be, therefore, this dream that he had for himself was transferred to his oldest son, who ad so much potential in high school, but ended up unemployed and lost later in life.
However, Wily continuously denies this to himself to keep his own dream alive. In the play, idealization is used as a motif and occurs 4 times with Biff and Happy, his brother Ben, Dave Signalman, and the dream he has for his oldest son, Biff. Idealization is such a key motif for this play because often times, it is the only thing that Wily has any hope for. For example, when everything seems very desperate to Wily, he is still holding on to the idealization that he has for Biffs future.
It is the only thing that can make him happy, thinking about how great his son is going to be. Also, this motif is important because seeing so many successful people, such as his brother Ben, who is his biggest idol, makes him insanely Jealous because he knows that he is inferior to these people, and that makes him go insane. Wily cannot handle the thought that so many people are much more successful than him, and that could be a major cause that led to his suicide, he wanted to escape how belittled he was to all of the successful people that he dollied around him.