During the confrontation biff makes no attempt to

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During the confrontation, Biff makes no attempt to blame anyone for the course that his life has taken. He doesn’t even mention the affair with The Woman, which Willy imagines as the sole reason for his son’s lack of material success. After so many years, Biff doesn’t consider his disillusionment a function of either Willy’s adultery or the inherent foolishness of Willy’s ambitions. Ironically, Biff blames Willy’s fantastic success in selling him on the American Dream of easy success as the reason for his failure to hold a steady job. Biff’s faith in Willy’s dreams is the real reason that he could not advance in the business world. He could not start from the bottom and work his way up because he believed that success would magically descend upon him at any moment, regardless of his own efforts or ambitions. Willy’s happy reaction to Biff’s frustrated tears demonstrates that Willy has again missed an opportunity to take refuge in the love of his family. He responds to Biff’s tears as material evidence that Biff “likes” him. Linda corrects him with the words “loves you.” Willy’s failure to recognize the anguished love offered to him by his family is crucial to the climax of his tortured day. Because Willy has long conflated successful salesmanship with being well liked, one can even argue that Willy’s imagining that Biff likes him boosts his confidence in his ability to sell and thus perversely enables his final sale—his life. In Willy’s mind, his imminent suicide takes on epic proportions. Not only does it validate his salesmanship, as argued above, but it also renders him a martyr, since he believes that the insurance money from his sacrifice will allow Biff to fulfill the American Dream. Additionally, Ben’s final mantra of “The jungle is dark, but full of diamonds” turns Willy’s suicide into a metaphorical moral struggle. Suicide, for Willy, constitutes both a final ambition to realize the Dream and the ultimate selfless act of giving to his sons. According to Ben, the noble death that Willy seeks is “not like an appointment at all”
but like a “diamond . . . rough and hard to the touch.” In the absence of any true self-knowledge, Willy is able, at least, to achieve a tangible result with his suicide. In this way, Willy does experience a sort of revelation: he understands that the product he sells is himself and that his final sale is his own life. Through the imaginary advice of Ben, Willy ultimately believes his earlier assertion to Charley that “after all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive.” In an analysis of Willy’s obsession with the American Dream as a religious crusade, his suicide represents the ultimate apotheosis into the Dream itself, the final expiation for the sins of conflated professional and personal failure. A kind of perverse, American working-class Christ-figure, Willy dies not only for his

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