Essay Arthur Miller's Death of a Saleman

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“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”(Tucker p.56) This quote by Winston Churchill relates to Biff, Willy’s oldest son, and how he gave up on life once he found out the truth and reality about his dad. Upon finding his father cheating on his mother, Biff decides not to take the summer school math class which would have allowed him to graduate high school and go to the University of Virginia. Biff was raised by his father to believe that success and wealth in life were two of the most important goals to achieve. Upon finding the truth of his father’s life, Biff realized his father had neither of these qualities and felt he had lived a life based on falsehoods. Biff left …show more content…
Biff does not share the same view of warping the truth, because that does not solve the problems that the family should face. Biff and Happy disagree with how to treat their father, which is an underlying battle between the two. The truth also widens the gap between the brothers by Biff protecting Happy from the reality of what their father really is. Though the falsehoods are not directly caused by either of the boys, they still affect their relationship.
The relationship between the boys and their mother is also affected by the life their father leads. When Biff finds out about his father, he not only stops speaking to him, but he also grows more distant from his mother. Biff feels guilty about never telling his mother about his father’s extramarital relationship, but also doesn’t want to be the person to hurt his mother by letting her know about the lies in Willy’s life. Once Biff comes back home, he gets into an argument with his mother, criticizing his father by saying he left “because I know he’s a fake and he doesn’t like anybody around who knows!”(Miller p.1568) This only pushes him and his mother further apart, because she doesn’t know the truth behind what Biff is saying, instead thinking it is criticism toward her husband. Linda views Biff as ungrateful for everything Willy has sacrificed in order to give him everything he has had throughout his life. Happy, on the other hand, is still striving for his father’s
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