Essay on Contrasting Biff and Bernard in Death of a Salesman

929 Words Dec 6th, 2009 4 Pages
“As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17) Friends are an important part of life. Friends are useful to help one get through the hardships of life. In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, we see the small (but present) friendship of Biff and Bernard. Biff is a football superstar, with scholarships lined up and friends galore. Bernard, his neighbour and childhood friend, is very much a book worm who decides to focus his time on his academics and unfortunately, doesn’t have many friends. Bernard had always idolized Biff throughout high school for his undeniable talent and charisma. On many occasions Bernard would offer to help Biff through his weaknesses by holding him accountable for his academics and help him …show more content…
Bernard is able to work hard to get the grades he needs for law school, which leads to his success later in life. The high school status of Bernard and Biff are very much different. Biff is one of the most popular guys in school, a jock, friends with many guys, and a hit with the ladies. Bernard on the other hand isn’t as well liked because he focuses to much on work and not enough on fun, “He’s liked, but he’s not well liked” (Miller 33). With all the distractions that popularity brings, one must prioritize their efforts to balance work and fun. Because of Biff’s nature and upbringing, he decides to devote all of his time to fun which leads to his lack of preparation for graduation. After high school the two go their separate ways and the Loman’s do not find out about Bernard’s success until later in the novel “How do you like this kid? Gonna argue a case in front of the Supreme Court!” (Miller 94). Bernard had showed Biff and Willy that in this world, it takes a hard worker to become successful. It is ironic that Willy, who forced success on Biff, ended up turning him into a failure; compared to Charley, who never took much interest into Bernard because he wanted him to find his own passion. Biff, who at times was very stuck up, ends up with nothing to show for himself later in life. Bernard however, was very successful and also modest about his accomplishments, not even mentioning it to Willy. Death of a Salesman has a universal lesson, working hard

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