Analysis of Biff in Death of a Salesman Essay

Words: 1616
Pages: 7

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
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Biff is also the only character that acts as a reminder that the American Dream is not an every man’s dream. Bernard has become a successful lawyer as his father Charley, Willy and Happy try to pretend they have too, but Biff is the only one who surrenders to his destiny. Rather than seeking success and money, he wants a basic life working on ranches. He does not try to push into the crowd of people aiming for a good job and a wealthy life-style, but instead wants to be seen for who he truly is: “Happy: The only thing is- what can you make out there? Biff: But look at your friend. Builds an estate and then doesn’t have the peace of mind to live in it.” In a way, Miller is trying to tell us that Americans are made victims of the country’s success. “Death of a Salesman” seems to argue that America as a whole does not value people who look for simple pleasures such as working in the countryside, and the American Dream pushes people to only aim for jobs in the industry.
It is ironic how Bernard turns out to succeed as a successful and well-known lawyer. It is ironic because during high school Willy used to mock him for studying hard and always praised Biff for not studying at all. Bernard is presented as a weak and shy character and Miller wants us to believe that Biff will turn out to be successful rather than him and not the