Analysis of Death of a Salesman

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Biff 's Transformation The Character Biff undergoes profound changes in the play, “The Death of a Salesman,” by Arthur Miller. In his youth, Biff represented the ideal optimistic child who desired to emulate his father, his biggest role model. His encounter with his father in Boston completely changes his outlook on life and leads him to lose faith in the one person he admired. His changing characteristics negatively affect his entire family. The death of Biff's loyalty and obedience serves as a catalyst for the death of his once happy, American family. At the beginning of the play we see an ever obedient and outgoing Biff who has his life in check. He has a special connection with his father, Willy, and is admired by those around him. Biff is the star quarterback and ideal son that every father wants . Willy confidently boasts that, “Without a penny to his name, three great universities are begging for him, and from there the sky is the limit.”(Act 2). Willy also shows great pride in everything Biff does whether it be making fun of teachers or scoring touchdowns to win the big game. It appears as if nothing will break that father son bond, but the events that transcend the day Biff goes to Boston change everything. Biff arrives in Boston eager to see his father but he finds him in bed with another woman. At the exact moment he witnesses his father's betrayal, Biff's once optimistic personality is shattered. He finally realizes that his father may not be so perfect after all when he exclaims, “You fake! You phony little fake!”(Act 2) The once ideal and outgoing son does not exist now as Biff is compelled to seek the truth about himself. From this point on he becomes his own independent person and abandons the image of Dads little boy as he loses hope in himself to achieve the American dream. The families life is never the same. Biff is constantly arguing with

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