Death of a Salesman

Father-Son Relationships in “Death of a Salesman” and “Fences” College

In the drama Death of a Salesman, the conflict that arises from a failing paternal-son relationship is illustrated akin also to the play Fences. Both storylines follow middle-class households in the mid-20th century and the interactions between fathers and their sons in regards to their specific aspirations and beliefs. Death of a Salesman comments on this theme through the relationship between Willy Loman and his sons, particularly Biff to whom he projects his ideas of success and values towards. Correspondingly, Fences as an African-American counterpart of the narrative addresses the failing relationship between Troy Maxson and his sons specifically Cory, as he dominates over his aspirations. They both revolve around an insecure patriarch who is struggling to grasp the ever elusive aspirations for themselves and their sons. Hence the father-son dynamic is made up of conflicting desires due to their different visions of what true achievement consists of. Consequently, both plays address the criticality of the father-son relationship and the gulf that arises due to opposing desires stemming from harbored feelings on aspirations, beliefs or values.

In Death of a Salesman, the father-son dynamic entails the patriarch projecting...

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