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BIFF: I stole myself out of every good job since high school!
WILLY: And whose fault is that?
BIFF: And I never got anywhere because you blew me so full of hot air I could never stand taking orders from anybody! That’s whose fault it is!
WILLY: I hear that!
LINDA: Don’t, Biff! (Act 2)
Biff recognizes that false pride is a barrier to success. The failures of his life have made it impossible for him to ignore the fact that he's just not as cool as his father always tried to make him believe he was. Where is the line between instilling your children with a good self image and making them too big-headed for their own good?
LINDA: We should’ve bought the land next door.
WILLY: The street is lined with cars. There’s not a breath of fresh air in the neighborhood. The grass don’t grow anymore, you can’t raise a carrot in the backyard. They should’ve had a law against apartment houses. Remember those two beautiful elm trees out there? When I and Biff hung the swing between them?
LINDA: Yeah, like being a million miles from the city. (Act 1)
Linda and Willy's reflections reveal their craving for escape from their urban neighborhood. They long for the days when the neighborhood was more green. Throughout the play, urbanization and commercialism are linked to ideas of confinement.
WILLY: There’s more people! That’s what’s ruining this country! The competition is maddening! Smell the stink from that apartment house! And the one on the other side… (Act 1)
Willy feels trapped and confined even in his own home. He feels stifled by the fact that there are so many people right on top of him.