Happy Loman: Character Analysis in Death of a Salesman

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Happy Loman is perhaps the most happy-go-lucky sort of person in the play

      Happy Loman is Willy Loman’s second son and is a tall, powerfully built young man. “Sexuality is like a visible color on him, or a scent that many women have discovered.” He too is lost, but in a different way. He seems quite contented but is actually confused and hard-skinned.

Happy is a womanizer

      Happy says that he learnt everything about women from his brother, Biff. But he is still living in the shadow of his mother. He would like to marry a girl—steady, someone with substance, like his mother.

Happy: a dreamer

      Happy, too, is a dreamer, but more contemptible than either Willy or Biff. He deceives himself more insistently.

Happy does not know himself

      Happy wants to smooth over the rough roads of life, instead of facing them. He feels that if he has not succeeded, others are to blame. But even in this finger-pointing, Happy perhaps comes out with a statement, which is a profound truth: “Everybody around me is so false that I’m constantly lowering my ideals.” He claims that he is the assistant buyer, when actually he is one of the two assistants to the assistant. He directs his energies towards chasing girls but we wonder if he is a success with them. He seems to have no softness, no tenderness, and girls cannot be won over by good physique and animal impulses. He is definitely a lesser man than Biff. Biff at least cares for and is worried on account of his father. Happy is related to his father only to the extent that enables him to negate his relationship with him. For a casual call-girl, he neglects his father: “That’s not my father. He is just a guy”. He, like his father, continues to live in a dream even after his father’s death. In this sense, he is his father’s son. He continues to live in dreams. He even pays a tribute to Willy for his dreams: “Willy Loman did not die in vain. He had a good dream. It’s the only dream you can have—to come to outnumber one man. He fought it out here, and this is where I’m gonna win it for him.”

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