False Memories In Death Of A Salesman

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The Lomans have memories throughout Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Particularly, Willy and Biff have false memories about the past. These fabricated memories are mostly optimistic, but their implications are not as positive. The Lomans’s self-deceptive view of their history is unhealthy for their well-being. Biff and Willy attempt to feel better about their mistakes by ignorantly thinking that the past was better than the present, but these efforts only make the situation they are in worse. They affect both themselves and the people around them in a distressing manner. The dreams and memories that the Lomans have are dangerous for their condition. The Lomans’s fake past is dangerous for their present situation. Their memories lead to many of their actions, even when they are not realistic. When Biff goes to Bill Oliver…show more content…
During Willy’s memory near the beginning of the play, Willy is talking to, at that time, the high school aged Biff and Happy. Willy is telling them about his popularity that comes with his occupation, “And they know me, boys, they know me up and down New England.” (Miller 19) Later, Willy says, “That’s why I thank Almighty God you’re both built like Adonises.” (Miller 21) Willy remembers that situation as a time of popularity for him and his boys. However, Biff admits to stealing a football, “Well I borrowed it from the locker room.” (Miller 17) Even that action is seen as an encouraging part of the past by Willy. He defends Biff saying, “Sure, he’s gotta practice with a regulation ball, doesn’t he?” (Miller 18) The Lomans think that they once were very well liked, and that they succeeded because of it. This memory, like most of the others in the play, is positive and ignorant. The Lomans were purportedly happy even during Biff’s dishonest actions, where Willy remembers him optimistically. The Lohmans expect their undesirable present to be similar to their positive past, despite its lack of

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