Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller
Death of a Salesman Dreams, Hopes, and Plans Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act)
BIFF: He had the wrong dreams. All, all wrong.
HAPPY [almost ready to fight Biff]: Don’t say that!
BIFF: He never knew who he was. (Act 2)
Dreaming is so central an aspect of Willy character that Happy nearly fights Biff to defend it. Unlike his brother, Happy still wants to believe in Willy.
CHARLEY: Nobody dast blame this man. You don’t understand: Willy was a salesman. And for a salesman, there’s no rock bottom to the life. He don’t put a bolt to a nut, he don’t tell you the law or give you medicine. He’s a man way out there in the blue riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back—that’s an earthquake. And then you get yourself a couple spots on your hat and your finished. Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman is got to dream boy, it comes with the territory. (Act 2)
Charley insists that, being a salesman with an unsure future, Willy could not have avoided dreaming his absurd dreams. Do you think this is true? Is it impossible to be a salesman and not be totally delusional?
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?