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Biff and Happy in Death of A Salesman It is said that the sins of the father are visited upon the sons In Arthur Millers Death of A Salesman the shortcomings of the father Willy Loman have been transmitted to his two sons in such a damaging way that the two sons are crippled for life -- but in very different ways This paper will examine those ways by analyzing the young mens relationship with each other their mother and most importantly their father The Loman sons - Biff 34 and the younger Happy - are refractions of Willy Lyons Biff Loman the older brother is his fathers golden boy For Willy Loman his other son Happy barely exists except as a backup to Biff someone to hold Biffs helmet on the way to the big game Both Biff and Happy up through high school absorbed all their dads platitudes and values the importance of personal attractiveness of being well-liked of sweet-talking their way into any situation regardless of the lies they told or the methods they used to get there They also absorbed a deluded self-aggrandizement a warped concept of who they are In Biffs case it was based on who Biff was twenty years before -- a high school football hero -- a boy who looked like Adonis and was destined simply by virtue of his looks and charisma to rise straight to the top However something happened at the end of Biffs high school career to change his destiny Biff flunked math by four points despite having enlisted his friend Bernard to give him the answers to the test It is doubtful that his teacher Mr Birnbaum knew conclusively that hed cheated even to get a sixty-one but because Biff had a cocky attitude and had been somewhat of a class clown throughout the course he refused to curve Biffs grade even though that meant Biff would not graduate with his class
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