Analysis of Biff in Death of a Salesman Essay

1584 Words Feb 7th, 2013 7 Pages
Camilla Tanzi
Year 12

An analysis of the character of Biff.
Biff Loman is portrayed as the root of Willy’s mental illness and instability. He is also the only member of his family who acknowledges his own failures in life. On the whole, Biff Loman stands out as the most intriguing and strong character in “Death of a Salesman. He is not a successful man and never will be, he is however able to admit this, even in a harsh society as the one of the 1960s America. Biff knows he is a “nothing” and tries to make his father see that he is “no good. I am a dime a dozen, Pop, and so are you.” He begs for Willy to communicate with him and accept him for who he is. Although Willy is forced by Biff to see some of his own failures, he never accepts
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The author could possibly be implying that Willy is actually envious of Bernard and even though he doesn’t want to admit it, his is just jealousy when he shows aversion towards him. Willy has different ambitions for his sons’ futures than most people had for theirs at the time; he believes that sport will be enough to help Biff succeed in the business world, make him rich and notorious; “That’s just what I mean, Bernard can get the best marks in school, y’understand, but when he gets out in the business world, y’understand, you’re going to be five times ahead of him.” Arthur Miller provides us with a lot of evidence that Willy has been a bad influence on Biff.
While Biff is in some ways desperate to impress his father, he is also conscious about the fact that Willy has failed his attempt to be successful in his career. He considers his dad’s dreams materialistic and unreachable. As a matter of fact, in the Requiem, even after his father’s death, Biff says: “He had the wrong dreams. All, all wrong.” Unlike Happy and Willy, Biff is self-aware and values facts; Willy never was a successful salesman and he never wanted to face the truth. On the other hand, Biff is conscious about his failures and the weaknesses of his personality. During an argument with his father, Biff admits that his dad made him “so arrogant as a boy” that now he just can’t handle taking…