Willy Loman And Biff Character Analysis

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Willy Loman, whom people say is the protagonist of the play, shares a very complex relationship with many different people in his life, specifically, his eldest son Biff. Critics suggest that Willy cannot be the protagonist because although he is present throughout the play, and we know lots about him, his son Biff is also noticed in the same way as Willy and is a strong character who seems to, at times, help Willy get through life.

Throughout the play, a strong theme of realisation is displayed amongst the two characters, Willy and Biff. A major realisation is that of Biff no longer wanting to, or trying, to be the man his father seems to so desperately want him to be. Willy wants Biff to conform to ideas of the American dream, and for that, you need financial success in order to be proud and confident in who you are. This is one of Willy’s major flaws. He lives his life trying to control his sons, desperately trying to mould them into his idea of a what a successful man is. His main ‘target’ would be his
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He is filled with emotions, mainly disappointment, and he comes to a self-realisation that he cannot live trying to please his father with fake American values. Biff shouts that “[he is] a dime a dozen, and so [is Willy]” (Act 2, p. 105). He is trying to force his father to realise that he is doing the right thing by becoming his own person and by not conforming to the false values of society, which his father desperately clings ono. Willy responds that “[he is] not a dime a dozen, [he is] Willy Loman, and [he] is Biff” (Act 2, p. 105). This shows us the extent of Willy’s desire to reach his dream of American financial success. It is ironic because the surname ‘Loman’ means ordinary. In Willy’s attempt to conform to the ideals of society, he acts in certain manners in an attempt to be viewed as someone better and more successful, yet he is not, and his surname can imply this subtly to the viewers
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