In The Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman looks up to his brother Ben with eyes of appeal. He’s sees his brother as a “god” and wants to be just like him and wants his kids to be just like him. He thinks that his brother is a self-made man. This is portrayed by the way that Willy talks about him, references him, speaks to him in his hallucinations, talks to his kids about him, and they way he treats and acts toward him in his flashbacks. Willy always wants to give Ben the center of the stage and share his story with everyone, especially Willy’s boys. Willy wants his boys to be as much of a go-getter as Ben because Ben decided to go to Alaska and he came back rich. Willy decided not to go with him and obviously regrets his decision. Why wouldn’t Willy want his boys looking up to Ben?
Malcolm might disagree with Willy in saying that Ben was a self-made man because Malcolm believes that it is all culture based. I somewhat take his side also because he made very good points, especially about the American kids and Chinese kids doing math problems. Although, if someone has enough will power and determination I believe they have the power to conquer their dreams and break the system of culture influencing any and all decisions.
Howard Roark would defend Willy’s statement because he believes in the self-made man. He believes that all men are of their own power. They control their destiny and all great things in the world have come from at least one individual who thought of the idea first or created the invention first. He says that everything comes from some man, somewhere, during some time. Therefore, he would agree with Ben as the self-made man. Ben saw the opportunity to move to Alaska, find gold, and get rich and took advantage of it. He didn’t just wait around waiting for it, he ceased it himself. Obviously, Willy only wishes he had the guts and the drive that Ben had to get up and drop everything just to go achieve his dreams. Honestly, that’s something every person desires to possess.
If I had to choose, I would say that there is such thing as a self-made man. I definitely believe in people to follow their dreams. What’s stopping them? Their own fear? Maybe. But if they have the will power to conquer their own fear, they’re smooth sailing until they finally reach their dream and achieve it. All people can achieve their dreams. We all just need a little bit of support, motivation, and heart to want to go out there and get it. It is hard in our culture to look past its stereotypes and judgments but the people who do, are the most admired. The people who don’t pay attention to the judgments of others and their pointless opinions and just do what they love, are the people that you see movies being made about. The people who are self-made are the people who we all strive to be.