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LINDA: Biff was very changed this morning. His whole attitude seemed to be hopeful. He couldn’t wait to get down town to see Oliver.
WILLY: He’s heading for a change. There’s no question. There simply are certain men who take longer to get solidified. How did he dress? (Act 2)
Linda and Willy cling to even the slightest indication of change as definite proof of a better future to come. It's really sad that all their dream and hopes for themselves and their children have come down to this.
WILLY: You wait, kid, before it’s all over we’re gonna get a little place out in the country, and I’ll raise some vegetables, a couple of chickens…
LINDA: You’ll do it yet, dear. (Act 2)
Despite all evidence to the contrary, Willy maintains that they will escape their current financial situation and create something new. We wonder, though, if Linda is as delusional as her husband. Does she really believe that there is a house in the country in the future?
WILLY: Gee whiz! That’s really somethin’. I’m gonna knock Howard for a loop, kid. I’ll get an advance and I’ll come home with a New York job. Goddammit, now I’m gonna do it!
LINDA: Oh, that’s the spirit Willy! (Act 2)
Willy experiences occasional moments of extreme optimism that contrast with similarly extreme moments of depression. The back and forth between these highs and lows is what eventually tears him apart.