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As a child Biff became a thief, stealing footballs. He failed his math exam, feeling that he could either talk his way out of a problem, have his father talk his way out, or rely on his sports prowess to ease his way. When Biff discover's Willy's infidelity in Boston, all pretense of idyllic scenarios fall away.
Willy is living an illusion when it comes to Biff. Willy wanted Biff to be a big-time football star after high school, but that never came to fruition. Biff did not end up being a football hero. Biff ended up floating through his life thus far and not really making much of it. He was a disappointment because he did not live up to his potential. Willy does not want to face this reality, so he lives in the past and consistently brings up Biff's "football days." This reveals Willy's larger problem, which is that his entire life is an illusion. He thinks he is someone he is not. He is a failure, not the success he tried to make himself out to be.
How about the pastoral? What is the signaficance of that to Willy's past and present?
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