What is the main difference between the characters of Biff and Happy Loman in Death of a Salesman?

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One could argue that the main difference between Biff and Happy Loman concerns the fact that Biff ends up acknowledging that he has led a superficial, unsuccessful life and has wasted most of his years chasing a futile dream while Happy remains delusional and out of touch with reality following Willy's death. Towards the end of the play, Biff recognizes that he has lied to himself for the majority of his life and has unfortunately subscribed to the American Dream like his father. Instead of focusing on his inherent happiness and attempting to find an occupation that suits his interests and abilities, Biff was continually sidetracked by the importance of attaining wealth and pleasing his unrealistic father. It is only after meeting with Bill Oliver that Biff becomes determined to discover the truth about himself and break the cycle of lies in his family.

Unlike Biff, Happy continues to subscribe to his father's false realities and refuses to seriously analyze his life. Happy seems...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1017 words.)

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Last Reviewed by eNotes Editorial on December 28, 2019
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