Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller
Death of a Salesman Act Two Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
HAPPY: All right, boy. I’m gonna show you and everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vain. He had a good dream. It’s the only dream you can have—to come out number one man. He fought it out here, and this is where I’m gonna win it for him. (Act 2)
Hoping to re-elevate his father's memory, Happy asserts that Willy had the right aspirations, and he will take on his father's dreams to prove it. What do you think is in the future for Happy? Will he become what his father always wanted to be? Or is he destined for the same sort of tragic death?
BIFF [crying, broken]: Will you let me go, for Christ’s sake? Will you take that phony dream and burn it before something happens?
[. . .]
WILLY: Oh, Biff! [staring wildly] He cried! Cried to me. [He is chocking with his love, and now cries out his promise] That boy—that boy is going to be magnificent! (Act 2)
Despite Biff's admission that he is a failure, Willy convinces himself that Biff will still make it big. Willy follows this delusion to his death, killing himself in order to help his son. Does this death bring some sympathy for Willy? Does he die a hero of some sort? Or is it just the logical end to a life of deception?
BIFF [to Happy]: The man don’t know who we are! The man is gonna know! [To Willy]: We never told the truth for ten minutes in this house!
HAPPY: We always told the truth!
BIFF [turning on him]: You big blow, are you the assistant buyer? You’re one of the two assistants to the assistant aren’t you?
HAPPY: We’ll I’m practically—
BIFF: You’re practically full of it! We all are! And I’m through with it. [To Willy]: Now hear this Willy, this is me. (Act 2)
Biff desperately struggles to demand truth amid the chronic deception that his family maintains. He takes a stand against all the lies, leading to tragic consequences.