Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman Summary and Analysis of II.7

Act Two (Restaurant, Present Day):

At the restaurant, Stanley stands in front of Willy as Willy shouts at the waiter, thinking that he is Biff. Stanley tells Willy that his boys left with the two women and said that they will see him at home. Stanley tries to help him. Willy asks if there is a seed store in the neighborhood, because he has to buy some seeds to plant. Willy leaves for the seed store.


Yet another humiliation for Willy Loman occurs in this segment: his sons have abandoned him at the restaurant, leaving him alone with the waiter while they go out with the two superficial women. Willy's preoccupation with seeds is symbolic of his realization that he has created nothing permanent or worthwhile in his life. As a salesman, he is merely a liaison for what others create, while the family that he made himself has abandoned him at the restaurant. Seeds symbolize something more permanent and tangible even than his family. This new theme also relates back to Willy's seeming embarrassment at Ben's notion that he cannot hunt or fish in Brooklyn; Willy worries that, as a salesman, he is not close enough to nature. His wish to plant seeds is a way to compensate for this deficiency.