In Death of a Salesman, how are Willy and Biff's explanations different for Biff's failure to succeed in the business world?

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I would only add two things to the first post which covers it pretty well.  Willie has always needed Biff to succeed, particularly after the Boston incident, because Willie thinks that Biff is falling apart because of Willie's "affair."  He needs Biff to succeed in spit of what he has learned about his father, almost as an act of forgiveness.  Biff's learned that his Dad is human; this is a difficult thing for any son to learn about his father.  However Biff had failed because he believed the same dream that Willie believed ... that the cult of personality was what really counted in this world, not performance; that he would be passed in algebra rather than pass it himself.

I also don't know that Willie consciously decides that he can no longer live a life of illusion; I'm not sure that Willie ever achieved that level of self-awareness.  He had been thinking of/trying to kill...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 505 words.)

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