Important Quotes in Death Of a Salesman
The first person I chose was Uncle Ben. Uncle Ben is Willy’s older brother. Ben has died and appears in Willy’s dreams. Willy looks at Ben as a symbol of the success that he dreams about for himself and his sons. The first quote is “A diamond is hard and rough to the touch.” Ben’s last emphasis of “The jungle is dark, but full of diamonds” causes Willy’s to contemplate suicide. In Ben’s eyes, Willy’s last meeting with him is “not like an appointment” but more like a diamond. Willy’s death, Ben proposes, will generate something for Willy and his family. Willy grasps onto this idea, to finally prove himself a success. He is fixates that with the $20,000 from his life insurance policy, Biff will accomplish the expectations that Willy had for him.
The second quote is “Opportunity is tremendous in Alaska, William. Surprised you’re not up there.” It is portrayed that Alaska is a land of opportunity waiting to be used. Willy seems to regret that he didn’t accompany his brother to Alaska and feels that this missed opportunity is the thing that stopped him of achieving is American Dream.
Willy is the second character I chose. Willy is the main character in the play and believes salesmanship will help him achieve his American dream. The first quote I choose was “And when I saw that, I realized that selling was the greatest career a man could want. ’Cause what could be more satisfying than to be able to go, at the age of eighty-four, into twenty or thirty different cities, and pick up a phone, and be remembered and loved and helped by so many different people?” Willy presents this question to Howard Wagner. He is discussing how he decided to become a salesman after meeting Dave Singleman. Dave Singleman legendary salesman who died the honorable “death of a salesman” that Willy desires strongly. Wlliy’s admiration of Singleman’s lengthy success depicts his obsession with being well liked. He is strong in having people remember and love him. Willy fails to see the human side of Singleman, such as he fails to see his own human side. He anticipates Singleman as a happy man but ignores the fact that Singleman was still working at age eighty-four and might have experienced the same financial difficulties as Willy. The second quote I chose was “Nothing’s planted. I don’t have a thing in the ground.” Willy is talking to Stanley and suddenly fixates on buying seeds to plant a garden in his backyard because he does not have a thing in the ground. The garden acts as an alternative for Willy’s failed career and Biff’s blown ambition. Willy realizes, at least metaphorically, that he has no concrete proof of his life’s work.
The third character I chose was Biff. Biff is one of Willy’s sons who once was a football star and now is nothing “I saw the things that I love in this world. The work and the food and the time to sit and smoke. And I looked at the pen and I thought, what the hell am I grabbing this for? Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be… when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am.” Biff’s explanation to Willy helps him realize his true identity, even though Willy doesn’t truly know himself. Biff’s confidence allows him to follow his instincts and align his life with his own dreams. Willy cannot comprehend any idea of individual identity outside of the boundaries of the material success promised by the American Dream. “You fake! You phony little fake! You fake!” Biff had just caught his father having an affair in Boston, and is disappointed he lied to his family.
The fourth person I chose was Happy. Happy is Willy’s other son who has lived in Willy’s shadow all his life. The first quote is “No, that’s not my father. He’s just a guy…” Happy is ashamed to call Willy his father due to him being unsuccessful and losing his mind. The second quote is “I’m gonna show you and everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vain… to come out number- one man. He fought it out here, and this where I’m gonna win it for him.” Happy is gracious for all his father did for him and his family. He doesn’t want his hard work to go to waste.
The fifth person I chose was Charley. Charley is Willy’s neighbor and Willy is jealous of his family success. The first quote is “He’s a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine… A salesman is got to dream, boy.” Charley’s speech in the eulogy about the nature of a salesman’s dreams points Willy as a victim of his difficult profession. The second quote is “He won’t starve. None a them stave. Forger about him.” Charley is telling Willy to forget about Biff because he is old enough to care for himself.
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