Grades And Self Esteem Essay

1954 words - 8 pages

Death of a Salesman, and research performed by the American Psychological Society (subsequently renamed the Association for Psychological Science) show how grades and self-esteem share a direct correlation. In Death of a Salesman Biff and Bernard both demonstrate how grades and self-esteem correlate. In Death of a Salesman, Willie Lowman’s son Biff fails math in high school, because of this failure. Biff loses his self-esteem and therefore is unsuccessful. However, in contrast, Bernard passes all of his classes and is successful. Research performed by the American Psychological Society also supports the theory that grades affect self-esteem. The counter arguments will also be discussed to provide a complete synopsis. The first point discussed will be from Death of a Salesman through the characters of Biff.
In Death of a Salesman, a play written by Arthur Miller, the main character Willie Lowman two sons one whose name is Biff. During High school Biff is a star football and at the top of his game. Biff has the self-esteem to be successful as well as the motivation. However, Biff bailed on summer school and the math credit. From here, he spiraled downward. Biff lost his self-esteem when he realized his failure. Upon his failure Biff went in search of his father for reassurance. The reassurance that everything would be alright, and that he wasn’t as he believed himself to be, a failure. Biff shows a correlation between grades and self-esteem. Biff failed math, therefore he lost his self-esteem. When Biff lost his self-esteem he lost his drive to be successful. Biff’s loss of self-esteem made it so he lost the drive needed to be successful. He couldn’t hold down a job, he ended up in prison, and he was constantly doubting himself. His grades had such an impact on his self-esteem that he was not able to recover his lost self-esteem. A counter argument that can be stated about this point is that Biff lost his self-esteem because of his father’s affair, however, the only reason Biff ended up chasing after his father was because he needed to gain back his self-esteem from his father. His father had always been the person he lived to impress, and needed approval from however being unable to gain back his father’s approval he spiraled. Another argument that could be made against this point is that Biff had self-esteem all along. However, if we look at Biff in the beginning of the novel we can see the confidence that Biff has as an athlete and student. This all changed when Biff realized that he failed math. Biff had the chance to be successful but when he lost his self-esteem that all changed for him. Instead of being able to live his dreams and become successful he was instead stuck in self-doubt. Opposite of Biff there is Bernard who passed all of his classes, and had the self-esteem to become successful.
Bernard lacks self-esteem during social situations however he excels academically. Because of Bernard’s academic success he is able to have the...

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