Compare And Contrast Biff And Willy Loman

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Many people live their lives without meaning. Some have a firm grasp on reality and realize that their hard work and efforts will be rewarded. Others prefer a more laid back approach and think that if they deserve it, then they will receive it. In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, the characters, Willy and Biff live an unhappy life because of their similar character traits, beliefs, and situations. They are both idealists, prideful, and they both lack “parental” figures. The combination of these things eventually drives Willy to his death, and Biff to his growth and transcendence. Willy Loman is a salesman; he is someone who thinks that success should come to those who are popular and attractive. This ideology shows when he is talking to Linda about Biff, “Biff Loman is lost. […] a young man with such—personal attractiveness gets lost.” (Miller 16).…show more content…
This figure affects Willy on a subconscious level. Throughout the play, the music of the flute is being heard, “A melody is heard, played upon a flute.” (1). The flute represents Willy’s father, always with him in the back of Willy’s head, but never able to help Willy. Moreover, Willy is unable to comprehend what the flute means. He hears the music it plays, but that is all he knows. Likewise, with his father, Willy only hears [or thinks] that he is a successful salesman, but never understands him in a close and personal way. Similarly, Ben who chases after his father and abandons Willy is another parental figure that Willy loses. “Can’t you stay for a few days? You’re just what I need, Ben […] Dad left when I was such a baby and I never had a chance to talk to him and I still feel –kind of temporary about myself.” (51). The pleading tone to what Willy is saying represents how he desperately wants someone [father figure] to guide him. Being abandoned by his brother and father, Willy’s life is unstable, and he is constantly reliving the past to escape from the
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