Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller
Death of a Salesman Appearances Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act)
BIFF [deciding]: Lend me ten bucks, will ya? I want to buy some new ties.
HAPPY: I’ll take you to a place I know. Beautiful stuff. Wear one of my stripped shirts tomorrow. (Act 1)
Biff and Happy's emphasis on Biff's appearance distracts them from more relevant reality (the fact that Oliver won't recognize Biff). They've somehow deluded themselves into believing that, if Biff looks good enough, Oliver will start forking over the money—even though he hasn't seen Biff in years.
WILLY: Yeah. Sing to me. [Linda hums a soft lullaby]. When that team came out—he was the tallest, remember?
LINDA: Oh, yes. And in gold. (Act 2)
Willy and Linda place great importance on Biff's appearance when he was a high school football star, as if that had something to do with his talent. The very fact that he was so attractive made them positive that he would one day be successful.
WILLY: He’s heading for a change. There’s no question, there simply are certain men that take longer to get—solidified. How did he dress?
LINDA: His blue suit. He’s so handsome in that suit. He could be a—anything in that suit! (Act 2)
Once again we see that Linda and Willy's fixation on Biff's physical appearance as the source of his success denies the importance of other qualities and virtues. They seem to have completely forgotten that Biff once stole from Oliver and that that might matter more than the fact that he's now wearing a nice suit.