A Streetcar named desire: The Downfall of Blanche and Biff

Essay by nickb051High School, 11th gradeA+, March 2004

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The downfall of two of the main characters of A Streetcar Named Desire and Death of a Salesman are strikingly similar. In both plays, one of the main characters witnesses a devastating event which traumatizes them for the rest of their lives. This single event shapes their futures, their attitudes, their outlook on life, and their views of others. These events show that there are often things that can happen in life which affect everything that happens in the future.

In the play Death of a Salesman, Biff is a child who is a great athlete. He has great potential in his football career and is dreaming of going to a college to play football on a scholarship. His friends love him and he loves his father. Happy, one of his sons, even tells Biff, "He just wants to make you good"(21). He is devastated one day to find that he has failed math.

He however is only worried because he can no longer play football for a university, which meant everything to him. He travels up to Boston to visit his Dad, who is on a business trip. His only concern is to have his father talk to the school and get his grade changed. When Biff enters his father's hotel room he is even more devastated to discover his father having an affair with another woman. Suddenly and drastically Biff's dreams of football disappear. He no longer has any concern or desire to play. He even burns the pair of University of Virginia sneakers he had so proudly cherished for so long. From that day forth, Biff had no respect for his father and never fought for his dreams again. For the first time, Biff tells his father he hates him. In a heated argument that day, Biff...