Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller
Death of a Salesman Act Two Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Act)
WILLY: I’m definitely going to get one. Because lots of time I’m on the road, and I think to myself, what I must be missing on the radio!
HOWARD: Don’t you have a radio in the car?
WILLY: Well, yeah, but who ever thinks of turning it on? (Act 2)
Willy comes off looking like a fool when he attempts to lie in order to impress Howard and soothe his own insecurities. Ironically, his constant need to lie in order to make himself well-liked is probably a big part of the reason that people don't really like him.
BEN: The jungle is dark but full of diamonds, Willy.
BEN [with greater force]: One must go in to fetch a diamond out.
BEN: Not like an appointment at all. A diamond is rough and hard to the touch.
BEN: Best thing! (Act 2)
Ben's refrain, with words like "hard" and "touch," suggests the importance of concrete wealth. Willy is haunted by the fact that his life of work hasn't really amounted to anything tangible.
BIFF: I am not a leader of men, Willy, and neither are you. You were never anything but a hard-working drummer who landed in the ash can like the rest of them! I’m one-dollar an hour, Willy! I tried seven states and couldn’t raise it. A buck an hour! Do you gather my meaning? I’m not bringing home any prizes anymore and you’re going to stop waiting for me to bring them home! (Act 2)
Biff insists he be left alone to live his life. He's begging his father to allow him to measure his personal success in his own way. Biff no longer wants any part of Willy's delusions.