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Biff And Willy Essay

2345 words - 10 pages

Although a story may follow one character, giving him the center of the stage and devote the most amount of time towards him does not mean that he is the most important character. In the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Willy Loman is the main character, yet he is not the protagonist of the story because he shows no outward change. His son Biff on the other hand shows a very clear, progressive change in nature especially his perspective on the dream his father set before him. Willy has been telling Biff how well he was liked by everyone around him, so he must have a bright future awaiting him. Biff wanting to impress his father takes up the same trade of a salesman, but when ...view middle of the document...

They’ll be calling him another Red Grange. Twenty-five thousand a year” (64-68). Willy’s dreams for Biff are really the dreams he had for himself but could not accomplish; Willy wanted to model his life after Ben his older brother who wandered into the jungle as a young man and quickly became wealthy. In Willy’s eyes this football game would be Biff’s wandering into the jungle and an opportunity he did not have. Biff took his father’s words very seriously and put all effort into this one game, this one event because he believed in this dream of instant prosperity. Biff does not question his father but simply pursues which leads him to forget about his math grade and failing the class. Willy was not an athlete but a salesman, so he could never have such an opportunity and instills all he wanted into Biff. Willy believes that finding a reliable job with a steady source of income and being well liked by your clients is to successful, much like Dave Singleman, who encompasses these characteristics. After Biff missing out on college and not able to reach instant success, he no doubt still wanted to please his father, so he took up the hopes of his father and walked in his steps towards becoming a salesman. Although Biff and Willy have many arguments in the present moment of the play, Biff comes back to New York City because he is attached to his father and to the dream he has always had in the back of his mind of selling like his father. Biff comes to see his father in order to return to the path he had begun many years ago. He meets with Oliver to impress his father and pursue the goal by taking the first step of asking for a loan. Biff does this despite not wanting to see Oliver and afraid that Oliver still thinks he stole a crate of basketballs when he worked as a salesman years ago. At the beginning of the play Biff can still be seen lost in this dream because he talks about asking for a very aggressive loan and getting into a business with Happy, his brother, despite having no money or experience, “WILLY: I see great things for you kids, I think your troubles are over. But remember, start big and you’ll end big. Ask for fifteen. How much you gonna ask for… Don’t be so modest. You always started too low” (47-48). Biff does not ever consider how much he knows about this area, yet he is so quick to jump to asking for money as if everyone were willing to loan such a huge sum to him. However, Willy is even more excited about this situation and continues to aggrandize Biff even though he had been yelling about how lazy Biff was moments ago. Years after not attending college and missing the opportunity to success, Willy is still telling Biff how amazing he is and even putting a number on what he is worth. Willy explicitly tells Biff not to be modest and undersell himself, but this has been the root of all of Biff’s problems. Biff decides to take up what his father says and agrees to make an appointment with Oliver the next day because...

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