Death of a Salesman

three quotes from Death of a Salesman and discuss each in a paragraph.

three quotes from Death of a Salesman and discuss each in a paragraph.

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I'm the New England man. I'm vital in New England.

Willy Loman, Act I

Willy's self-definition is centered around his career. He isn't the man who does sales for New England - he's the New England man. He believes himself to be vital to the company, but in reality it's the company that's vital to him and his feelings of self worth. When he discovers that he isn't vital anywhere, his worldview crumbles.

He's liked, but not well-liked.

Biff, referring to Bernard. Act I

Willy's recipe for success is based entirely around a cult of personality. Most people are liked by their friends and acquaintances. But only great men, according to Willy, are truly well-liked - and that is what brings them success. In this quote, we see that Willy's belief in personal connections has been transferred to his sons as well, as they dismiss their friend Bernard for only garden-variety likability.

The man knew what he wanted and went out and got it! Walked into a jungle and comes out, the age of twenty-one, and he's rich!

Willy, regarding Ben. Act I

This is a principal refrain for Ben. Although Willy is the first one to use this line, Ben repeats it many times throughout the play, making it clear that Ben is only a figment of Willy's imagination. He does not speak normal words, but is the personification of a symbol - Willy has attached all his ideas of success and worth to the abstract concept of his brother Ben, whether Ben merited it or not.