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Biff And Willy Loman In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

Powerful Essays
In Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, the conflicts that formulate between Biff and Willy Loman build up to the death of Willy. Biff’s delusional perception of being liked in the world leads to a successful life which was an idea brought onto him by his father, Biff’s discovery of his father's affair, and Biff’s lack of business success all accumulate to the heavy conflicting relationship between Biff and his father, Willy. These contribute immensely to the idea that personal dreams and desire to reach success in life can negatively impact life with personal relationships, which causes people to lose sight of what is important. This ultimately leads to the Willy committing suicide from the build up of problems with his son. During the…show more content…
It is stated by Standage that, “Sandage believes Willy Loman was a success. But the message of the play, he says, is that “if you level off, you have to give up. You might as well not live”” (Baird 25). This is quite ironic because all Willy does is push to be successful and he when he can’t he puts expects his son’s to follow through so he gives up. He constantly reminds them, “the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead” (Miller 67). This is also ironic because Willy is the man who creates personal interest in the business world, but when everyone passes away he is left with nothing but the past to remember. This false reality that Willy creates for Biff brings on the conflicts between the father and son duo due to the fact that Biff fails as a result of the way he was raised. So by the time Biff goes to interview for his first job he thinks that his success will come with no effort…show more content…
Biff loses respect for his father and soon realizes what lie he has been living. Willy is in denial about his involvement with Biff’s failure in life, and when he is confronted about it by Bernard asking, “What happened in Boston, Willy? (141), Willy quickly becomes defensive, saying, “What are you trying to do, blame it on me? Don’t talk to me that way!” (141). After finding out about Biff’s reaction of burning his favorite University of Virginia shoes that symbolize Biff’s hopes and dreams for the future, Willy realizes what impact the affair had on his son. Willy’s lack of acceptance of reality affects his relationship because he never owned up or admitted he had an affair. This weighs heavy on Willy because the hate from his son will always be there. Biff loses all respect for his father and sees not only a failed business man, but in general a failed man. Throughout it all, Willy’s wife still remains supportive of him and constantly reminds him of her love for him. Despite this, Willy still yearns to have what he does not and pursues “the other woman.” It is bright as day that Willy finds some sort of comfort and validation for his affair with a woman who makes him feel wanted, yet his wife does the same thing. This guilt is always carried around with Willy which is just another contributor to the death of Willy
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