Silhouette of a grinning person wearing a top hat with a skull-like face and a red nighttime sky in the background

Death of a Salesman

by Arthur Miller

Start Free Trial

What is a Modern Hero?

How does this relate to the significance, speaker and context of each of these quote?

  • "You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away, a man is not a piece of fruit!"
  • "The girls pay for you?...Boy, you must really be makin's a hit."
  • Expert Answers

    An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

    In older times, a hero was typiclaly one of noble birth blessed by the gods, choosen to do extraordinary things. Though remarkable, these skills are within his reach.

    In modern times, a hero is usually (but not always) a person of humble or unassuming means who goes beyond the limits of his perceived abilities to accompish good for either himself, his famly and/or society.

    The quotes you cite here are the attempts, though failed, of Willy to become a modern hero. He wants his life to have meaning and purpose. He does not want to be like the rind of a piece of fuit, who, once his purpose is used up, is thrown away.

    The second is in relation to Willy's desire to live vicariously through his boys. He sees his own lack of success in women erased if Biff and Happy are successful in romancing.

    See eNotes Ad-Free

    Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

    Get 48 Hours Free Access
    Approved by eNotes Editorial Team