Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Willy Loman, a sixty-three-year-old traveling salesman who has begun to dwell on the past and not to know where he is. In the last two days of his life, his past rolls before him. He is a father who loves his sons and wants them to have worldly success, although he does not know how to help them achieve it. His last gesture for his son Biff is to commit suicide so that the son can have the insurance money.
Biff Loman, Willy’s thirty-four-year-old son, who is still trying to find himself. A high-school athlete, he gets nowhere after graduation. When he is refused a loan to start a business, he steals a cheap fountain pen. Angry and defeated, he curses his father as a fool and a dreamer, though he loves the man.
Happy Loman, Willy’s younger son, modestly successful in life as a clerk in a store. He is a woman chaser and a seeker after pleasure.
Charley, Willy Loman’s friend and neighbor. He lends Willy money and offers him a job.
Bernard, Charley’s son, a successful lawyer whose own success is an accusation to Willy’s sons.
Linda Loman, Willy’s wife, a fearful but patient woman who loves her husband despite his failures.
Howard Wagner, the son of Willy’s boss. He lets Willy know that he is finished as a salesman.
Uncle Ben, Willy’s brother. He goes out into the jungle and in a few years returns from the diamond mines a rich man. His success is an accusation to Willy.
The woman, an unnamed character whom Biff, as a teenager, finds in a hotel room with his father.