Arthur Miller 's Death Of A Salesman

Decent Essays

An Analysis of Tragic Heroism of Biff Loman in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

This literary study will define the tragic heroism of Biff Loman in Arthur Miller’s play The Death of a Salesman. Biff is initially a victim of Willy’s continual harassment to make more money and find a better career. In this family unit, Biff must endure the unrealistic and fantasy-based elusions of his father in his fanatical pursuit of the American Dream. However, Biff soon learns of Willy’s extra-marital betrayal to his mother, which allows him to experience an epiphany against the self-deception of his father’s abusive fantasy world. Biffs’ tragic role in this family is found in the ability to accept reality and overcome the victim role imposed on him by his father. This tragic aspect of Biffs’ heroism defines a single voice of reason in a self-deceiving family unit, which defines his liberation from his father’s tyrannical behavior. In essence, Biffs’ tragic heroism will be examined by analyzing the journey towards self-realization in Arthur Miller’s The Death of a Salesman. The beginning of Miller’s play presents Willy Loman, a failed salesman that is continually putting pressure on his children to get better jobs and make more money. Willy’s pursuit of the American Dream exploits Biff and Happy as a type of retirement plan in this materialistic mindset: “You’ll retire me for life on seventy goddamn dollars a week?” (Miller 28). In this way, Willy views Biff as being weaker than

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