Throughout the play, Willy Loman followed his false perceptions and found himself wrong, which he never admitted. Willy has a special relationship with Charley and Bernard. These two characters prove to Willy that his notion is wrong. Charley is Willy’s rival and Bernard is the kind of person Willy wanted his son, Biff, to be. Looking at Bernard, Willy feels somewhat responsible for Biff’s failure in education and career.
Bernard was a humble man, he had a great deal of respect for Willy as a child and being Biff’s friend, he admires him but cannot go with his heating and stealing. He still never turns his back on Biff. Moreover, always tries to help Biff with his studies. Willy was a person who made his own philosophies and followed them without thinking about the consequences, he lived in his world of illusions, he always stressed on personality that his sons had and Bernard lacked. Bernard, on the other hand, was intelligent, hard working and, industrious.
But the Loman sons’ had outgoing personalities which fooled Willy into believing that Bernard would never be successful in business but nevertheless, Bernard proves Willy rong and was far more thriving than Willy imagined; he became a self possessing lawyer and Willy was shaken to see how his viewpoint was off beam. At this point, Willy’s opinion about Bernard changes suddenly, he starts looking at him as a fine man. Even here, Bernard talked to Willy like he always did, his success did not make him turn superior and he showed him no resent because of his past manners to Bernard.
Bernard was often mocked ,(act 1), he was called ‘anaemic’ and ‘bookworm’, but even after the way Willy treated him, Bernard did not turn boastful bout his position as a flourishing enterprising person. He, instead, always empathized with Willy and understood how much pain Willy had gone through and how hurt he was. Bernard’s qualities of being successful were already noticeable in act 1 when he was still a young boy. He was a hard- worker and a high flier. He even insisted Biff to do the same, and yet he was tainted for his concern, because Willy knew how promising Biff was and he thought that Biff would make it no matter what.
However, it was later seen that Bernard still never showed any bitterness to Willy. He talked to Willy and made him feel lighter and better. He listened to everything he says about Biff and even when he knew that Willy was making it up, he still let Willy stay in his pride without embarrassing him. Bernard knew that whatever Willy said about Biff was what he wanted him to be, not what he was, and he therefore let Willy pour his wishes out in order to make him feel recovered.
Bernard was true to himself and others; he said everything with good intentions but was supposed by Willy in a wrong sense. When Bernard asked him what happened in Boston, Willy took all of his questions as a lawyer’s attempt to get the truth spitted out, while Bernard just wanted to know, why the promising Biff suddenly changed. Willy had an unpredictable attitude towards people, who stood chances to attain success, and the main example was Bernard (as a kid), Willy always saw him as a ‘pest’, even though he constantly tried to help Biff.
He, (Willy) himself could not be successful for himself and for his sons and was desirous to see Bernard’s uccess as he pictured him as a younger version of Charley who he considered his adversary. However, Bernard was much gentler to talk to and dealt very kindly with Willy. Willy’s false insight lead him to his failure and left him wondering how a ‘feeble’ and ‘pathetic’ kid like Bernard could have all it takes to be happy. Bernard, on the contrary, has a promising career, a family and autonomous relationships and he still does not forget his promising friend and tries to help both, Willy and Biff, by his advice.