Death of a Salesman: Compare and Contrast Essay

Death of a Salesman

Compare and contrast Biff and Delighted as Willy’s boys. How do they reflect or decline Willy’s viewpoints? Willy Loman is a salesman with a fragile grip on reality. All his life he has strived for his variation of the American dream? being “well liked” and earning money? to the point where he is forced to reject reality in order to accomplish it. His mind has plenty of delusions about his own abilities and accomplishments, and the achievements of his children? Biff and Happy. Biff, the eldest boy, admires his dad’s drive and “prestige”. He believes in his daddy’s dreams and goals till he discovers he is having an affair.

Learning this damages Biff’s image of his father and he declines his viewpoints while labeling him “a counterfeit little fake!” However, although he dislikes his daddy and what he represents he still ends up living a similar delusional life, exaggerating and controling reality in his favor. Happy doesn’t doubt his father’s dreams; they have been instilled in his mind and have become his own. He, unlike Biff, has a consistent job and works as an assistant to the assistant buyer, however yet still he describes himself as the assistant buyer due to the fact that he feels that status specifies a guy, as his daddy constantly described generating income and being on top.

Both Biff and Happy embrace Willy’s practice of denying or controling reality and practice it all their lives. At Willy’s funeral though, Biff understands that his daddy had all the wrong dreams, and that he, just like his daddy, had actually tricked himself into believing he was someone besides himself. He chooses to start a “new” life and welcomes Happy to come together with him. Pleased disagrees with him, and firmly insists that his daddy’s dream was the only dream a guy can have and that he would be the one to fulfill it now that his father is gone.

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