Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Analysis of Chunk 7
The boys come home from their night on the town and Linda is furious, she asks them, "Don't you care whether he lives or dies?" Linda knows Willy's faults, and tries to shield him from hurting himself.
Willy is planting his garden and talking to Ben about the life insurance Biff will receive when Willy commits suicide. Ben tells him "…it's a cowardly thing." Willy replies, "Why? Does it take more guts to stand here the rest of my life ringing up a zero?" Although Willy feels he is "ringing up a zero," he still wants Biff to think he's important. Willy says, "Ben, that funeral will be massive! … That boy will be thunderstruck, Ben because he never realized-I am known!" This is another one of Willy's illusions.
Biff brings Willy inside to have it out with him. Biff yells, "The man don't know who we are! The man is gonna know! We never told the truth for ten minutes in this house!" Biff has finally seen the light and understands the family situation. Biff says, "I stopped in the middle of that [Oliver's] office building and I saw - the sky." He continues, "Pop! I'm a dime a dozen and so are you!" Willy shouts back, "I am not a dime a dozen! I am Willy Loman and you are Biff Loman!" Although Biff realizes the reality of their lives, Willy continues live the illusion. Biff retreats upstairs with the rest of the family.
Ben appears and says, "The jungle is dark, but full of diamonds, Wily." Ben continues to use the jungle as a metaphor for life, and the diamonds the symbol of success. "One must go in and fetch a diamond out." Willy says, "Imagine, when the mail comes, he'll be ahead of Bernard again!" And with that we leaves the house.
At the graveyard, Biff correctly says, "He had the wrong dreams. All, all, wrong." Happy tries to defend Willy. Happy cannot see the reality that Biff does.
- Summary & Analysis
- Character Analysis
- Important Quotes