Death of a Salesman Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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Can Willy and Biff be compared in Death of a Salesman?

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This is an interesting question because, in Death of a Salesmanjust when you feel that Willy and Biff are reflections of each other, we realize that they really are not. Biff is not a reflection of Willy: he is a consequence of Willy, perhaps, even a casualty. There are more differences than similarities between the two of them. 

The first thing to consider is that, obviously, Willy's physical condition seems to be far below that of his son, Biff. Many times we find Willy re-emphasizing how his sons are built like Adonises. However, he clearly tells Linda how he, himself, is fat and how someone allegedly called him once a "walrus".

Willy: I'm fat. I'm very foolish to look at, Linda. [...] as i was going to see the buyer I heard something about-walrus. And I- I cracked him right across the face. [..] they do laugh at me. I know that.

Biff and Willy are also different in terms of determination versus ambition. Willy has the ambition, while Biff has the determination. While Willy hopes...

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