Bernard’s appearances come solely from the materialized imaginings of Willy. As Bernard is merely a supporting character, the audience holds the opportunity to read into and between the known parts of his story. The first time he emerges, he is a teenager hanging out with Willy’s sons, Biff and Happy. Young Bernard is somewhat of a nerd. He studies hard and is quite smart, yet, according to Biff, he is “liked, but not well liked” (Miller). One can assume that Bernard is also not as well-known as Biff. Young Bernard is “Biff’s friend” and “Charley’s son”, but has not yet come to be his own person. Biff, the football star in high school, outshines his friend quite effortlessly. Nevertheless, he seems to be the only one gaining anything from the relationship.
In Willy’s present, the audience gains the understanding that Bernard has become a success as an adult, unlike Biff. Bernard is a university graduate, a lawyer, and is in the midst of prep...
... middle of paper ...
...ity. It is not always easy to go against the friends and supposed authorities in one’s life. When the circumstance involves one’s morality, though, it is more important to stand for that which one has faith is the honest thing to do. If Bernard were to have given in, it is likely they both would have been caught at a state exam. In that case, Biff might not have been the only one to miss graduation that year and the future Supreme Court case would not have had the same outcome. Lives are not always affected by which people are in them, but rather by who is no longer in them. In Bernard’s example, letting his acquaintance with Biff fall away was good for him in the end.
Miller, Arthur. "Death of a Salesman." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. By X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. Boston: Pearson, 2013. N. pag. Print.
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