Death of a Salesman (Bernard)

Topics: Drama, Moral, Plays Pages: 2 (640 words) Published: March 27, 2013
In ‘Death of a Salesman’ written by Arthur Miller, Bernard is shown as a tremendously memorable character. Throughout the play, his contradictions to Biff, poor judgments of him and his parent- like personality are well presented. By using the character, Miller tries to convey the moral messages and develops an attention grabbing plot

First, Bernard’s contradictory character compared to Biff, makes him memorable. Bernard is literally everything that Biff is not. Biff is a high school football star while Bernard is just an ordinary and unpopular student. Biff is more likely to be immoral while Bernard truly worries and being realistic about him. For instance, Bernard says ‘Listen, Biff, I heard Mr. Birnbaum say that if you don’t start studyin’ math he’s gonna flunk you, and you won’t graduate. I heard him!’ The quote shows Bernard is very aware of Biffs’ gloomy future and also somehow predicts substantially different futures of those two characters. The audiences may feel a sense of relief toward Bernard as he is the only one, who actually shows the real world and eventually becomes successful than any other characters in the play. By using the character Bernard, Miller tries to convey the message of success has got nothing to do with the glorious past. In fact, Biff fails to seek his own career and live a life that is totally opposing to Willy’s expectations.

Furthermore, the fact that Bernard was one of the underdogs makes the character memorable. In the play, most of characters did not expect Bernard to be prosperous and used to mock him with his sophisticated outlooks. A good illustration of this is when Willy says ‘That’s just what I mean. Bernard can get the best marks in school, y’understand, but when he gets out in the business world, y’understand, you are going to be five times ahead of him.’ It clearly shows Willy’s pessimistic opinions to Bernard’s future. The phrase ‘five times ahead’ also portrays Bernard is treated as a sort of failure which...
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