How does Willy feel about Biff in "Death of a Salesman"?

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reidalot eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Biff appears to be a failure, yet he is not. Willy loves Biff; in fact, he has attempted, as many parents, to live vicariously through Biff. Willy continuously thinks of Biff's glory days in high school as the happiest times in his life. However, Biff is an unsuccessful salesman, unsuccessful in following in his father's footsteps. Ironically, this is critical to the play's theme. Willy also ends up as an unsuccessful salesman after squandering his life in the attempt to succeed, illustrating the corrupt influence of the American Dream. Biff actually goes on to live the real American dream, becoming one with the land, instead of selling his soul as a salesman. Willy fails at all his dreams and can only hope to plant a garden in the stifling atmosphere of the city.