Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller
Death of a Salesman Happy Loman 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?
HAPPY: What the hell!
WILLY: Tell me what happened!
Biff [to Happy]: I can’t talk to him!
[A single trumpet note jars the ear. The light of green leaves stains the house, which holds the air of night and a dream. Young Bernard enters and knocks on the door of the house.] (Act 2)
Willy is only able to cope with the reality the Biff lays before him by escaping entirely into his delusions. The increasing harshness of his life is causing him to sink deeper and deeper into his own dream world.
HAPPY: His name is Biff. You might’ve heard of him. Great football player.
GIRL: Really? What team?
HAPPY: Are you familiar with football?
GIRL: No. I’m afraid I’m not.
HAPPY: Biff is a quarterback with the New York Giants.
GIRL: Well, that’s nice, isn’t it? [She drinks]
HAPPY: Good health.
GIRL: I’m happy to meet you.
HAPPY: That’s my name. Hap. It’s really Harold, but at West Point they called me Happy.
GIRL [now really impressed]: Oh, I see. How do you do? (Act 2)
Happy shamelessly boosts his own self-esteem and deceives the girl the same way he deceives himself. In many ways, he really is a lot like his father. Could this be part of the reason Willy seems to gravitate more toward Biff than Happy? Is hanging around Happy too much like looking in a mirror?