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Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman

by Arthur Miller

Death of a Salesman Happy Loman Quotes Page 1

Quote #1

HAPPY [enthralled]: That’s what I dream about Biff. Sometimes I wanna just rip my clothes off in the middle of the store and outbox that goddamned merchandise manager. I mean I can outbox, outlift and outrun anybody in that store, and I have to take orders from those petty, common sons of bitches till I can’t stand it anymore. (Act 1)

Though Happy prefers a more primal form of competition, he cannot let go of the idea that success comes from the businesslike competition of the American office place. Like Biff and Willy, he longs for a simpler life, but is trapped within the hamster wheel of American capitalism.

Quote #2

WILLY: That is a one million dollar idea.

LINDA: Marvelous!

BIFF: I’m in great shape as far as that’s concerned!

HAPPY: And the beauty of it is, Biff, it wouldn’t be like a business. We’d be out playin’ ball again…

BIFF [enthused]: Yeah, that’s…

WILLY: Million-dollar! (Act 1)

While Biff and Happy are interested in finding work that is tolerable, Willy is fixated on ensuring that the boys find a lucrative profession likely to lead them down the path to success and greatness. Is Willy so bad for wanting this? Are Biff and Happy so bad for wanting to be… happy?

Quote #3

HAPPY: Dad is never so happy as when he’s looking forward to something! (Act 2)

Happy's statement reflects a fundamental understanding of his father's need to dream as a means of escape. Is Willy's family in some ways responsible for furthering his delusions? Or are they only trying to make their father happy?

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