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?

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

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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.

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