In Death of a Salesman, what are some of the values Willy tried to teach Biff as a boy?Does it connect in any way with his going to see Bill Oliver?

1 Answer | Add Yours

Top Answer

lcassidy's profile pic

lcassidy | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted on

Willy Loman had a very different set of values than most of society's.  He taught Biff that it was ok to steal a football for example, by condoning his behaviour.  By saying that his son needed to practice with a regulation ball to get better, he taught Biff that there was nothing wrong with stealing.  Consequently, when Biff is in Bill Oliver's office, he steal a fountain pen from his desk for no apparent reason, then runs away.

Willy also taught his son how to close his eyes to reality.  Willy is a self proclaimed hot shot salesman who boasts how well liked he is.  In reality, however, Willy needs to borrow money from his neighbour Charlie on a regular basis to survive on a weekly basis.  We also see how no one knows who he is and this is when he also finally acknowledges the fact that he is a nobody.  This type of behavior actually rendered Biff as a disillusioned character as well.  He had actually convinced his father, as well as himself, that Bill Oliver knew him - which of course is false.

We’ve answered 319,199 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question