Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller
Death of a Salesman Freedom and Confinement Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act)
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.
BEN: You’ve got a new continent at your doorstep, William. Get out of these cities, they’re full of talk and time payments and courts of law. Screw on your fists and you can fight for a fortune up there.
WILLY: Yes, yes! Linda, Linda! (Act 2)
The American West is depicted as free of confinements and thus ripe with opportunity and prosperity. How realistic is this depiction? Is this reality, or just another dream?