Death of a Salesman Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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How would you describe Biff and Happy from Death of a Salesman? Who is more sympathetic?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would argue that Biff is the more sympathetic of the two. He once had a chance to be someone in life, but his old man blew it for him with his unrealistic expectations and the affair he conducted with a secretary, which completely traumatized Biff when he found out about it. To some extent, Biff inhabits the same delusional fantasy world as Willy, but only because his old man put him there; he's never really had a chance to escape.

Happy, on the other hand, is unburdened with his brother's psychological baggage. With his good looks and charm, he's just the sort of "well-liked man" that meets with Willy's approval. But instead of striving for success, he just breezes through life without a care in the world, happy to share his old man's deluded worldview, unwilling to change or develop as a human being.

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Biff is Willy Loman's oldest son, and he is an insecure man without a steady job or relationship. In the play, Biff returns home and is depicted as a lost, confused, desperate...

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pnhancock eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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