Death of a Salesman

death of a salesman

Scene where Willy is planting the seeds.

Why is the inclusion of Ben in this scene so significant?

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Willy realizes that his whole career has built up to nothing. He worked for 40 years and has nothing to show for it. This leads to his obsession with seeds late in the play - it is too late to grow anything for his sons, but at least he can plant some vegetables, something that will outlast him and provide some use. Although Ben died several weeks before the time at which the play is set, he often appears in Willy's hallucinations, carrying a valise and umbrella. Ben represents the fantastic success for which Willy has always hoped but can never seem to achieve. The garden represents Willy's failure as well.