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Describe the sequence of events which leads Bff to realize the truth about himself in...

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salmat | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 7, 2011 at 2:50 PM via web

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Describe the sequence of events which leads Bff to realize the truth about himself in Death of a Salesman?

 

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sanskritibookbound | Student , Undergraduate | Honors

Posted July 19, 2011 at 12:46 AM (Answer #1)

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biff, we see from the very start, is a man of practicality... his ideas are practical and achievable but somewhere in the make-believe world of his father and his younger brother he too gives hiomself to the liesand fantacies...

the denial of biff by bill oliver, for whom he had worked as a shipping clerk, is the biggest eye opener for biff. for till now he played along withthe idea that he was a salesman for him and then reality comes crashing...

besides he had always chased the right dream... he fitted in the outdoors of god and so he worked there if only as a cow-herd...

but the incidence at bill oliver's office (bill refusing to acknowledge him, and he steeling a fountain pen)... snap himback to reality...

he tries to bring willy out of his fantacy bubble as well but seems like willy could bear only this much...

biff thinks that if they started calling a spade a spade then thingsmight start looking up at them... but he is unaware that THIS is when hell will break loose...

 

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 9, 2013 at 3:27 PM (Answer #2)

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There are two events presented in the play that directly precede the conclusion of Biff's internal conflicts. These events are Biff's visit to Oliver's office and the flashback scene that depicts Biff discovering his father having an extramarital affair. 

At Oliver's office, Biff had planned to ask for a loan from his former boss. When he arrives in the office, Biff suddenly remembers that he has been fooling himself. He was never a salesman in Oliver's sporting goods store. He was a shipping clerk. 

Biff tells Happy about this encounter, shaken by his realization and prepared to tell Willy that he will no longer participate in this delusion of grandeur, which he feels his father has helped to create.

The flashback scene helps to define the conflict between Willy and Biff as it brings to light the source of their differences. Knowing what Willy has done, we also know what Biff will be forgiving when he forgives his father.

These events direct Biff toward a new honesty and humility. It is simple honesty and humility that serve to solve his problems, as his problems, like Willy's, are largely derived from a fixation on fantasy.

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