Which character change/progresses the most in Death of a Salesman? What types of changes occur to this character? What is some evidence to prove this? What is this character like at the beginning,...

Which character change/progresses the most in Death of a Salesman? What types of changes occur to this character? What is some evidence to prove this?

 What is this character like at the beginning, middle, and end of the play?

Asked on by rushipn

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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I would say that Biff changes the most in the play as he realises that he has control over not only his own success and failure, but his father's.

Biff was seen as the hero, with prospects, sporting prowess and good looks. He also possessed some of his father's rose-tinted optimism in teh early days. Biff however clearly gave up on striving for success and recognition after he saw his father with the other woman. From that point he sees his father as a 'fake' and has avoided dealing with the crushing disappointment of his father's fallibility. Once he is made aware of the seriousness of Willy's mental state, he steps up to support his parents-

BIFF: ...I've been remiss. I know that, Mom. But now I'll stay, and I swear to you, I'll apply myself.

Unfortunately Biff is unable to get the truth about both of their failures through to his father, and though he tries to comfort his mother, Willy is beyond help in terms of seeing reality-

BIFF: I am not a leader of men, Willy, and neither are you.

Willy's last thoughts are of Biff scoring a touch down for him as he promised. Willy's suicide can be seen as prompted by him finally accepting what Biff tried to tell him all along.

 

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