© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman

by

Arthur Miller

Death of a Salesman Willy Loman Quotes

Willy Loman > Biff Loman

Quote 67

WILLY: She’s nothing to me, Biff. I was lonely, I was terribly lonely.

BIFF: You—you gave her Mama’s stockings! [His tears break through and he rises to go]. (Act 2)

Unable to fully lash out at his father, Biff focuses his anger on the stockings. The stockings are used as a symbol of betrayal throughout the play.

Willy Loman > Biff Loman

Quote 68

BIFF: Exactly what is it you want from me?

WILLY: I want you to know on the train, in the mountains, in the valleys, wherever you go that you cut down your life in spite.

BIFF: No, no!

WILLY: Spite, spite is the word of your undoing! And when you’re down and out remember what did it. When you’re rotting somewhere beside the railroad tracks, remember, and don’t you dare blame it on me! (Act 2)

Willy assumes that Biff's betrayal of his expectations is intended as a punishment for his betrayal of Biff's trust when Willy had an affair. Here, Willy tries desperately to separate himself from his own guilt about both Biff's failure in life and the reality of his infidelity.

Biff Loman > Willy Loman

Quote 69

BIFF: There’ll be no pity for you, you hear it? No pity!

WILLY [To Linda]: You hear the spite!

BIFF: No, you’re going to hear the truth—what you are and what I am!

LINDA: Stop it!

WILLY: Spite! (Act 2)

Willy's accusation that Biff is spiting him stems from his knowledge that his son felt betrayed by his affair.

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement