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I don't know what to do." Ben quickly shifts the conversation to Alaska and offers Willy a job.
He labels Biff a "lazy bum" but then contradicts himself two lines later when he states, "And such a hard worker.
There's one thing about Biff — he's not lazy." Willy's contradictions often confuse audiences at the beginning of the play; however, they soon become a trademark of his character.
Each member of the Loman family is living in denial or perpetuating a cycle of denial for others.
Willy Loman is incapable of accepting the fact that he is a mediocre salesman.
The second major theme of the play is contradiction.
Throughout the play, Willy's behavior is riddled with inconsistencies.
Willy's confidence quickly resurfaces, and he is confident that he has made the right decision by turning down Ben's offer; he is certain he will be a success like Singleman.
Thus, Willy's memory has distracted him from the reality of losing his job.
It is only at the end of the play that Biff admits he has been a "phony" too, just like Willy.
Linda is the only character that recognizes the Loman family lives in denial; however, she goes along with Willy's fantasies in order to preserve his fragile mental state.