Death of a Salesman Essay

Submitted By Phil-Kat
Words: 737
Pages: 3

Death of a Salesman: Biff and Willy Willy and his son, Biff, have a complex relationship that is filled with both bitterness and love. There are numerous conflicts throughout the play between Biff and his father that mostly concern what Biff should do with his life. Both the fact that that Biff can't tell his father that he doesn't want to be like him and Willy's refusal to see his son for who he truly is are huge sources of the conflict between them. Willy and Biff have a very complicated relationship throughout the play. The dynamic of their relationship changes very much from the time that Biff is a boy in high school to the time that he grows into a man. At the beginning of the play, Biff is constantly being told by his father that he will achieve great things after he graduates high school, and, at the time, Biff truly believes him. This changes after Biff fails math and finds out that he will not be able to graduate unless he goes to summer school. Being very distraught by this, Biff goes to visit his father in Boston in the hopes that Willy will be able to convince Biff's teacher to pass him. When he arrives in Boston, Biff catches his father having an affair with another woman. This was a big turning point in the relationship that Biff and Willy had because Biff no longer sees Willy as the hero that he was convinced that his father was. After this occurrence, Biff's life goes into a downward spiral. He bounces around form job to job, steals from all of his employers, and even does some time in jail. Willy is extremely disappointed that his son did not live up to the unrealistic expectations that he had set for him, and though Biff no longer sees Willy as a hero, he still seeks his father's approval. Biff never wanted to live the life of salesman, but he makes the choice to stay and work in the city even though he hates it so that he will be able to support Willy and not disappoint him. This shows that though they're relationship is not perfect, Biff still cares enough for his father to sacrifice his own happiness. A large part of the conflict between Willy and Biff is caused because they are such different people. Though it is clear that Biff has completely different goals and principles than his father, Willy refuses to accept that. Biff also has trouble telling his father that he does not want to live the same life that he did. A big reason for this is that Biff was always told that he would become wealthy and achieve great things. Biff has trouble admitting who he is because Willy taught him that the only way to live was