Death of a Salesman Questions and Answers

Death of a Salesman

What Willy Loman means by this expression is simply that it's wrong to exploit a man and then discard him like he's nothing. That's precisely how Willy feels after being fired by his boss Howard....

Latest answer posted January 26, 2021, 10:55 am (UTC)

6 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

Willy and Biff have a troubled relationship. Willy's grandiosity and refusal to live in reality have almost ruined Biff's life. During the course of the play, Biff comes to terms with this reality...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2021, 12:30 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

Willy Loman has a very difficult relationship with his sons. His relationship with Biff is especially fraught. This is because Biff hasn't achieved his potential. Once upon a time, Biff was a star...

Latest answer posted March 20, 2020, 7:51 am (UTC)

5 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

Willy Loman, Biff and Happy's delusional, mentally-unstable father, ends up committing suicide by purposely wrecking his car at the end of the play. After consulting with his dead brother's spirit,...

Latest answer posted May 3, 2018, 9:23 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

The Woman is one of the characters who appears only in Willy’s mind. Similar to his brother Ben, the Woman is part of a memory or a hallucination that plagues Willy. While Ben appears as if he is...

Latest answer posted March 27, 2020, 3:45 am (UTC)

5 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

The following quotation is important because it shows how and why the relationship between Willy and Biff turned sour: BIFF: You fake! You phony little fake! You fake! (Overcome, he turns quickly...

Latest answer posted June 19, 2020, 8:31 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

Throughout the play, Biff is portrayed as a kleptomaniac who began stealing various items as a child and was never punished for his actions. In one of Willy's memory scenes, Biff steals a football...

Latest answer posted April 12, 2017, 9:53 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

In Arthur Miller's classic play Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is portrayed as a delusional, unsuccessful salesman who struggles to cope with his failures and form meaningful relationships with...

Latest answer posted June 22, 2020, 11:54 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

Dave Singleman is Willy’s oft-cited aspirational hero of the sales industry. Singleman is representative of the old world of salesmen, one in which personality and connections determines success...

Latest answer posted July 23, 2018, 3:19 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

Biff's assessment of his father's dreams is ultimately validated by the play at large. He argues his father's dreams were wrong because they were shallow, focusing only on a meaningless, empty idea...

Latest answer posted June 5, 2020, 1:34 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

Bill Oliver is one of Biff Loman's former employers. He is introduced to the plot when Biff and his brother, Happy, tell their father that they're considering going into the sporting goods...

Latest answer posted May 23, 2016, 3:34 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

In any story, the climax is the moment of highest dramatic tension, usually when the main antagonistic forces within the narrative come to a head. In Death of a Salesman, the climax occurs when...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2020, 12:26 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Death of a Salesman

Willy brings up his memories of Dave Singleman while he is in Howard's office trying to talk his boss into letting him work in the New York area rather than having to cover all of New England. What...

Latest answer posted November 22, 2014, 12:49 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

"You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away" is a metaphor and obviously a very poor one. That is exactly what you do with an orange:you eat the orange and throw the peel away. You do the...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2014, 8:00 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

Willy has the illusion that he is well-known and well-liked mainly because he knows many people. As a traveling salesman he has to be friendly, amusing, and entertaining. But all of his...

Latest answer posted May 3, 2014, 12:05 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

The most ironic thing about Linda's speech is when she says that she and the family are now "free." In a financial sense, that's perfectly true. Now that Linda's finally paid off the mortgage, a...

Latest answer posted June 23, 2019, 11:14 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

This is a symbolic expression, by which Willy means that his world is being destroyed. He is financially hard-up, he is on the verge of losing his long-term job as a salesman, and he is nervous and...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2014, 12:11 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Death of a Salesman

Willy says over and over that the secret to his "success" is that he is "well liked." This term is a cover, however, a placeholder for the truth Willy cannot explain about his life -- that the...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2017, 12:40 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

The first technique is one called "mimesis" or imitation. The basic form of drama is imitative in that actors on stage pretend to be imaginary characters, rather than standing up in propria persona...

Latest answer posted February 1, 2018, 2:40 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

As was mentioned in the previous post, Ben Loman is Willy's successful older brother. Ben Loman made a fortune discovering diamond mines in Africa and appears in Willy's imagination throughout the...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2017, 9:53 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

Willy's point is that success (not being "in want") is based on getting other people to like you. As a salesman, he has to be the typical gladhander, conveying an amiable personality in order to...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2019, 10:22 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

When it comes to assigning blame for Willy Loman’s death, there might be more than one option. One party that can be held responsible is Willy himself. After all, Willy didn’t die in a mass...

Latest answer posted December 18, 2020, 3:22 pm (UTC)

6 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

Arthur Miller's famous play Death of a Salesman deals with the fall of Willy Loman, a traveling salesman, who lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with his wife Linda. He also has two grown sons, Happy...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2012, 1:51 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Death of a Salesman

In Willy's hallucination/memory, Biff shows off the football he stole from the locker room and Willy initially tells him to return it. Willy then praises Biff's actions by telling his son that the...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2018, 10:54 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

At Willy's grave, Linda utters the phrase "we're free" over and over again in reference to the fact that she has just made the final payment on the house. These words close out the play and are...

Latest answer posted December 19, 2020, 11:55 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Death of a Salesman

Biff is locked in a cycle of deception and dysfunction in his life and his relationships with others, particularly his father. He has come back home after a failed attempt to live away from his...

Latest answer posted March 8, 2016, 1:43 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Death of a Salesman

One of the most influential scenes is act 2, scene 3, which is where Willy goes to Charley's office and ends up talking to Bernard, Charley's son. This scene is important because this marks the...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2020, 7:53 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

Happy subscribes to his father's belief that appearance and personality are the essential aspects necessary to have success in the business world. As a delusional, conflicted salesman, Willy Loman...

Latest answer posted June 7, 2020, 8:49 pm (UTC)

5 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

Biff knew that his father would question whether he had actually gone to see Bill Oliver to ask for a loan. His impulse to take the expensive pen may have been motivated consciously or...

Latest answer posted November 14, 2014, 1:16 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

The first thing you need to analyze to find symbolic meaning in Willy Loman’s name is his last name. Broken down, it is “low man.” In the play, Willy is an unsuccessful traveling salesman who is...

Latest answer posted December 15, 2015, 7:21 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Death of a Salesman

This quote refers to Willy Loman's brother, who found his fortune in Africa in the diamond mines. Willy's brother worked hard and made his fortune early, while Willy worked hard and still hasn't...

Latest answer posted November 4, 2012, 8:44 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Death of a Salesman

This quote attempts to elicit some tribute to the man, and not the salesman, Willy Loman. The play Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, bases is theme in the eternal quest for the so-called...

Latest answer posted July 1, 2011, 6:04 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Death of a Salesman

Willy has had a competitive relationship with Charley ever since they have been neighbors. This has been for a long time, long enough for Biff and Happy to think of their father's friend as Uncle...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2014, 4:20 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

A prominent theme in Death of a Salesman is the myth of the American Dream. Though Willy Loman has worked hard for decades, he is unable to raise his socioeconomic status. As he closes in on the...

Latest answer posted July 12, 2018, 11:47 am (UTC)

6 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

When Biff suggests that Happy leave home and head out West with him, Happy initially seems interested but declines the offer. Happy seeks gratification from others and would rather become a success...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2019, 9:29 am (UTC)

7 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

Biff steals things because he is a kleptomaniac. He essentially cannot help himself when he steals Bill Oliver's fountain pen and runs out of the room. Willy has raised Biff to be a selfish,...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2016, 10:05 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

In this scene, Willy has an imaginary encounter with his dead brother Ben. No matter how real the details of Ben's story, Ben represents to Willy the material success that he longs for but that has...

Latest answer posted May 30, 2016, 2:26 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

The jungle represents the modern, cut-throat world of business competition in which some, like Ben, might triumph while others, like Willy, go under. It is a jungle in the sense that people are...

Latest answer posted May 26, 2015, 1:52 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

The relationship between Charley and Bernard is the kind which Willy wishes he had with Biff. Father and son get along very well, both on a personal and professional level. In addition to Charley's...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2018, 9:25 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

The seeds in Death of a Salesman have a dual significance. Taken literally, they represent seeds, as Willy says, to plant and grow a garden. Willy wants to grow carrots, peas, beets and lettuce in...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2020, 10:40 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Death of a Salesman

What seems especially ironic in Death of a Salesman is that Willy Loman is a failure but he keeps advising his sons about how to be a success. He was advising them how to be a success when they...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2014, 8:04 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

After Biff tells his father that he has a meeting early in the morning with Bill Oliver, Happy intervenes and says that he has a wonderful idea. Happy grabs Biff and tells him that they will go...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2018, 5:27 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

There isn't really all that much difference between Willy Loman's idea of the American Dream and anyone else's. The real distinction lies in the fact that Willy is seriously deluded as to his...

Latest answer posted July 30, 2018, 9:49 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

It would be a toss-up between Biff and Linda as to who suffers the most from Willy's delusions, but in the end, I would side with Linda—though she is also an enabler. Linda sees Willy's problems...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2020, 8:34 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

Biff's idea of the American Dream is to own a ranch out west and farm. He doesn't want to follow his father's path of trying to be a great salesman and (supposedly) end up rolling in easy money. To...

Latest answer posted May 30, 2019, 6:26 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

The American "Everyman" in Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman aspires to financial and social status represented by the respect and admiration of those with whom he works and those in his...

Latest answer posted July 5, 2015, 8:25 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Death of a Salesman

In Death of a Salesman the phrase "Casting off" is used during a conversation where Linda and Willy are discussing their sons, who have come back to live with them. WILLY: Figure it out. Work a...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2015, 7:02 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

When Linda has a confidential talk about Willy with their two sons, she tells them with characteristic feminine simplicity what is the plain truth. No, a lot of people think he's lost...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2014, 12:33 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

One of the themes of Death of a Salesman is clarified by Biff in the Requiem. Based on his new understanding of life, his father, and himself that he has gained over the course of the play, Biff...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2016, 4:45 am (UTC)

5 educator answers

Death of a Salesman

Linda tries to protect and support Willy in every way, constantly looking after his physical welfare and propping up his sagging ego and self-esteem. She also runs interference between Willy and...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2009, 11:59 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

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