Death of a Salesman

Compare and contrast the two brothers. How are they alike and unalike?

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At thirty-four, Biff is well-built but somewhat worn and not very self-assured. Happy, two years younger than his brother, is tall and powerfully made. He is a visibly sexual person. Both boys are somewhat lost, Happy because he has never risked defeat. The two brothers discuss their father. Happy thinks that Willy's license will be taken away, and Biff suggests that his father's eyes are going. Biff and Happy are both trapped in a perpetual adolescence. Both men are tall and well-built, but their emotional development does not mirror their physical appearance. Happy reminisces about his first sexual experience, while Biff handles a football, a sign of his childhood. The setting of the segment, the boys' childhood bedroom, also suggests that they are trapped in their past. Even the names of the two men, Happy and Biff, are childlike nicknames inappropriate for mature adults.