Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller
Death of a Salesman Willy Loman Quotes
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.
WILLY [suddenly conscious of Biff, turns and looks up at him, then begins pocking up the packages of seeds in confusion]: Where the hell is that seed? [indignantly] You can’t see nothing out here! They boxed in the whole goddamn neighborhood!
BIFF: There are people all around here. Don’t you realize that?
WILLY: I’m busy. Don’t bother me. (Act 2)
Willy's frustration at feeling trapped in his own home only shortly before his suicide reflects his profound desire for freedom and escape. Does his suicide provide that escape, or is it just the biggest trap of all?
WILLY: How can he find himself on a farm? Is that a life? A farmhand? In the beginning, when he was young, I thought, well, a young man, it’s good for him to tramp around, take a lot of different jobs. But it’s more than ten years now and he has yet to make thirty-five dollars a week!
LINDA: He’s finding himself, Willy.
WILLY: Not finding yourself at the age of thirty-four is a disgrace! (Act 1)
Willy considers Biff's failure in business as a betrayal of his expectations. It is ironic, however, that, throughout the play, Willy seems to long for just the sort of simpler lifestyle that his son has created for himself. Could it be that Willy's feelings of betrayal are in some ways linked to feelings of jealousy toward his son?