Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller
Death of a Salesman Act Two Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
LINDA [laughing]: That’d be wonderful. But not enough sun gets back there. Nothing’ll grow anymore.
WILLY: You wait, kid, before its all over we’re gonna get a little place out in the country, and I’ll raise some vegetables, a couple of chickens.
LINDA: You’ll do it yet, dear.
[Willy walks out of his jacket. Linda follows him.]
WILLY: And they’ll get married, and come for a weekend. I’d build a little guest house. 'Cause I got so many fine tools, all I’d need would be a little lumber and some peace of mind. (Act 2)
Willy and Linda perceive escape from their urban neighborhood as freedom. The entire play seems to be infused with a longing for a simpler lifestyle. What do you think: is the life of a farmer in the country more free than the life of a salesman in the city?
LINDA [buttoning up his jacket as he unbuttons it]: All told, about two hundred dollars would carry us, dear. But that includes the last payment on the mortgage. After this payment, Willy, the house belongs to us.
WILLY: It’s twenty-five years!
LINDA: Biff was nine years old when we bought it.
WILLY: Well, that’s a great thing. To weather a twenty-five year mortgage is—
LINDA: It’s an accomplishment. (Act 2)
Willy and Linda celebrate their proximity to financial security as a kind of freedom and escape. In many ways, they feel chained by financial concerns and debt.
BEN: Now, look here, William. I’ve bought timberland in Alaska and I need a man to look after things for me.
WILLY: God, timberland! Me and my boys in those grand outdoors! (Act 2)
With the mere mention of timberland, Willy is lost in fantasies of freedom in the great outdoors, suggesting his desperation for escape. He sees life in the wilderness as a chance to really be his own man; however, he's too attached to the ways of city life to go through with such a dream.