In Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman" Biff Loman may not be a success in life, but he has managed to succeed at one thing his father could not: acknowledging his failures. .
Biff has finally allowed himself to see that he has piddled his life away. He tells Happy, "I've always made a point of not wasting my life and every time I come back home I know that all I've done is waste my life" (1884). .
Biff finally acknowledges that his family has been "talking in a dream for fifteen years," (1928) after visiting Mr. Oliver about the Florida investment. In he and his families memories Oliver thought highly of Biff and believed that he would surely extend a welcome hand to the young boy he so admired even if they hadn't seen each other in fifteen years. But instead Biff's eyes are opened to the fact that he's "not the man somebody lends that kind of money to." (1928) Admitting this to himself is a huge step for someone in this family. After this visit Biff decides that he has to make his father see the truth of who he really is. .
At the restaurant Biff tries desperately to make his father see the truth. "Pop, facts about my life came back to me. Who was it, Pop? Who ever said I was a salesman for Oliver?" Rather than answering, Willy just affirms what he wants to believe, "Well, you were." Even after telling Willy straight out that he never was a sales clerk, Willy just retorts, "I"m not interested in stories about the past or any crap of that kind-(1929). Biff wants to talk about the facts, ending the family's history of speaking in dreams, but Willy keeps interrupting him and simply refuses to hear what he doesn't want to. Frustrated Biff blurts out, "so I"m washed up with Oliver, you understand."(1931). .
Biff next does something that many people never are able to do, own up to their shortcomings and take responsibility for their own failures in life. When Biff tells Willy the truth about the appointment, he goes on to tell him, "Today I realized something about myself and I tried to explain it to you and I-I think I"m just not smart enough to make any sense out of it for you- he then tells him, "This isn't your fault; it's me, I"m a bum.