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Independent Assignment on Death of a Salesman Part A: Willy, Smiling: Well, I figure, what the hell, life is short, a couple of jokes. To himself: I joke too much! The smile goes. This line best represents Willys character. It shows that he doesnt take life seriously enough.
Everything is a joke, but then he realizes that he jokes to much and that he doesnt take life seriously enough. This is very important he always contradicts himself and corrects himself. The most important thing however is what Linda says after. She tries to convince him that he is fine. Willy finally notices that he has a flaw and Linda tries to stop him from correcting it.
This line fits Willy so well because Willy is so unsure of himself, he never seems to have a definite answer. Linda: But youre doing wonderful, dear. Youre making seventy to a hundred dollars a week. Though this is directed to what Willy is making, it very much demonstrates Lindas character.
Linda is always trying to make Willy feel good about himself and about his family. Sometimes she over congratulates Willy, she tells him he his doing wonderful when he cant even pay off the pills. She often tries to make things out better than they really are. This also shows that she loves Willy and her family and will do anything to keep them happy.
Biff: You fake! You phony little fake! You fake! Overcome, he turns quickly and weeping fully does out with his suitcase. Willy is left on the floor on his knees. Biff says this when he catches his father with the other woman in Boston.
This is an important turning point in Biff character. Up to this point Biff has had the greatest respect for his father, in fact the only reason he was up to see him was because he thought he may be able to help him get a better mark. Biff and Willy always had a good relationship, they were always bodies. When Biff sees his father with the other woman he loses all respect for his father and cannot seem to forgive him throughout the play. After this event Biff doesnt have the will to finish school, and doesnt get his scholarship to Virginia. Biff never can get over it, he bounces from job to job and can never seem to settle down.
Every time Biff returns home there is tension between Willy and his son. Happy: Why dont you bring her excuse me, miss, do you mind? I sell champagne, and Id like you to try my brand. Bring her a champagne, Stanley.
This line best represents Happy's character. This line takes place when Biff and Happy are taking Willy out for supper. Willy has just lost his job and Biff has been turned down by Oliver. However Happy's only concern is about the woman sitting next to him. He has nothing comforting to say to his father so he tries to interest the woman. Happy is a womans man, he cares more about material things, than he does about his own father.
Happy also uses lies to make his life sound so much better. Happy doesnt sell champagne, but his uses this item to talk to the woman. Happy lack of interest toward his father can be attributed to the lack of interest Willy showed toward him. Happy could never impress his father so he lies to impress women and other people.
Part B: ACT ONE Willy: Its all right. I came back. Linda: You didnt smash the car, did you? Willy: Im tired to the death.
I couldnt make it. I just couldnt make it, Linda. Linda: Willy, dear. Talk to them again. Theres no reason why you cant work in New York. Willy: I will, I definitely will.
Linda: happy took Biff on a date tonight. Willy: Figure it out. Work a lifetime to pay off a house. You finally own it, and theres nobody to live in it. Linda: Biffs finding himself, Willy. Willy: The trouble is hes lazy, goddammit!
Linda: I dont know. I think hes still lost, Willy. I think hes very lost. Willy: Biff Loan is lost.
In the greatest country in the world a young man with such personal attractiveness, gets lost. And such a hard worker. Theres one thing about Biff hes not lazy. Linda: Go down, try it. And be quiet. Willy: Your not worried about me, are you, sweetheart?
Happy: Hes going to get his license taken away if he keeps that up. Im getting nervous about him, yow, Biff? Biff: Hes all right, I guess. Happy: Funny, Biff, yow? Us sleeping in here again? The old beds.
All the talk that went across those two beds, huh? Our whole lives. Biff: Yeah. Lotta dreams and plans. Happy: I think the fact that youre not settled, that youre still kind of up in the air Biff: Listen why dont you come out West with me? Happy: The Loan Brothers, heh?
Willy: Too young entirely, Biff. You want to watch your schooling first. Then when youre all set, there be plenty of girls for a boy like you. Boy you must really be makin a hit. Biff: What ya got, Dad? Willy: Terrific.
Terrific job, boys. Good work, Biff. Biff: Gee, howd you know we wanted a punching bag? Happy: Im losing weight, you notice, Pop? Willy: Jumping rope is good too. Biff: Did you see the new football I got?
Willy: I want you to return that. Biff: Well, Im bringing it back! Willy: sure hes gotta practice with a regulation ball, doesnt he? Coach probably congratulate you on your initiative. Biff: Oh, he keeps congratulating my initiative all the time, Pop. Willy: Tell you a secret, boys.
Dont breathe it to a soul. Someday Ill have my own business, and Ill never have to leave home any more. Happy: Like Uncle Charley, heh? Linda: Oh, the whole block be at that game.
Did you sell anything? Willy: I did five hundred gross in Providence and seven hundred gross in Boston. Linda: How much did you do? Willy: Well, I I did about a hundred and eighty gross in Providence. Well, no it came to roughly two hundred gross the whole trip. Linda: Well that makes seventy dollars and some pennies.
Thats very good. Willy: We owe a hundred and twenty dollars! My God, if business dont pick up I dont know what Im gonna do! Linda: You dont talk too much, youre just lively. Willy: Well, I figure, what the hell, life is short, a couple of jokes. I joke too much!
Willy: You picked me, heh? The Woman: Sure. Because youre so sweet. And such a kidder. Willy: Good night. And keep your pores open!
The Woman: Oh, Willy Linda: You are, Willy. The handsomest man. Youve got no reason to fell that Willy: Ill make it all up to you, Linda, Ill, what are you doing? Linda: Just mending my stockings.
Willy: I wont hove you mending stockings in this house! Now throw them out! Bernard, running in: Where is he? If he doesnt study! Willy: Youll give him the answers! Linda: And hed better give back that football, Willy, its not nice.
Willy: Where is he? Why is he taking everything? Linda: Hes too rough with the girls, Willy. All the mothers are afraid of him! Bernard: Hes driving the car without a license! Willy: Shut up!
Happy: Lets go now, come on. Willy: You guys! There was a man started with the clothes on his back and ended up with diamond mines! Charley: Everything all right?
Happy: Yeah, Charley, everythings Willy: Whats the matter. Charley: I heard some noise. I though something happened. Cant we do something about the walls?
You sneeze in here, and in my house hats blow off. Willy: Whatre you doing? Charley: Come on, lets shoot. Tire you out a little. Willy: I got a job, I told you that. What the hell you offering me a job for?
Charley: You want me to go? Ben: I only have a few minutes. Charley: You never heard from him again, heh? Since that time? Willy: Didnt Linda tell you? Couple of weeks ago we got a letter from his wife in Africa.
He died. Ben: Opportunity is tremendous in Alaska, William. Surprised youre not up there. Willy: Long ago. Since the beginning you never knew how to play cards. Charley: All right!
Next time Ill bring a deck with five aces. Willy: Where is Dad? Didnt you follow him? How much did you get started? Ben: I have many enterprises, William, and I have never kept books. Willy: Thats just the way Im bringing them up, Ben rugged, well liked, all-around.
Biff: Oh, no, sir! Happy: Give him the left, Biff! Ben: Never fight fair with a stranger, boy. Youll never get out of the jungle that way. Linda: Did you have some cheese? Its very late, darling.
Come to bed, heh? Willy: Gotta break your neck to see a star in this yard. Linda: Oh, my dear, you should do a lot of things, but theres nothing to do, so go to sleep. Happy: I never heard him so loud, Mom. Biff: Why didnt you ever write me about this, Mom? Linda: How would I write to you?
For over three months you had no address. Biff: Hes not like this all the time is he? Linda: Its when you come home hes always the worst. Happy: He admires Pop.
Linda: Thats all you are, my baby! And you! What happened to the love you had for him? You were such pals! How you used to talk to him on the phone every night! How lonely he was till he could come home to you!
Biff: Because I know hes a fake and he doesnt like any body around who knows! Linda: Last month Oh boys, its so hard to say a thing like this! Hes just a big stupid man to you, but I tell you theres more good in him than in many other people. I was looking for a fuse.
The lights blew out, and I went down the cellar. And behind the fuse box it happened to fall out was a length of rubber pipe just short. Biff: Did you take it. Linda: Im Im ashamed to. How can I mention it to him?
Biff: I know, I Linda: Well dont argue about it now. Willy, walks in: Even your grandfather was better than a carpenter. You never grew up. Bernard does not whistle in the elevator, I assure you> Biff: Im leaving early tomorrow.
Happy: Hes going to see Bill Oliver, Pop. Willy: Ah, youre counting your chickens again. Happy: And the beauty of it is, Biff, it wouldnt be like a business. Wed be out playin ball again... Willy: I see great things for you kids, I think your troubles are over. But remember, start big and youll end big.
Ask for fifteen. How much you gonna ask for? Linda: Oliver always thought the highest of him Willy: Will you let me talk? Biff: Dont yell at her, Pop, will ya? Willy: Whatre you, takin over this house? He leaves Biff: Hes off salary.
My God, working on commission! Happy: Well, lets face it: hes no hot-shot selling man. Except that sometimes, you have to admit, hes a sweet personality. Willy: Yeah.
Knock him dead, boy. What you want to tell me? Biff: Just take it easy, Pop. Good night. Happy: Im gonna get married, Mon.
I wanted to tell you. Linda: Go to sleep, dear. Willy: keep up the good work. God remember that Ebbets Field game? The champion ship of the city? Linda: Willy dear, what has he got against you?
Willy: First thing in the morning. Everything be all right. ACT TWO Willy: hes heading for a change. Theres no question there simply are certain men that take longer to get solidified. How did he dress? Linda: Didnt mention it, but I imagine ten or fifteen thousand.
You going to talk to Howard today? Willy: Yeah. Ill put it to him straight and simple. Hell just have to take me off the road.
Linda: And Willy, dont forget to ask for a little advance, because weve got the insurance premium. Its the grace period now. Willy: All the cement, the lumber, the reconstruction I put in this house! There aint a crack to be found in it any more. Howard: Records things. Just got delivery yesterday.
Been driving me crazy, the most terrific machine I ever saw in my life. I was up all night with it. Willy: Well, tell you the truth, Howard. Ive come to the decision that Id rather no travel any more. Howard: Oh, yeah, yeah, I remember. Well, I couldnt think of anything for you, Willy.
Willy: If I had forty dollars a week thats all Id need. Forty dollars, Howard. Howard: Youll have to excuse me, Willy, I gotta see some people. Pull yourself together. Ill be back in a little while. Willy: I gotta get myself some coffee.
Ill get some coffee Howard: I think you need a good long rest, Willy. Willy: I cant throw myself on my sons. Im not a cripple! Ben: Now, look here, William.
Ive bought timberland in Alaska and I need a man to look after things for me. Willy: God, timberland! Me and my boys in those grand outdoors! Ben: Theres a new continent at your doorstep, William. You could walk out rich. Rich!
Bernard: Oh, gee, I was afraid you left already! Willy: everybody wave when Biff comes out on the field. You set now, boy? Biff: Ready to go, Pop.
Every muscle is ready. Willy: Touchdown! Touch. Jenny, Jenny, good to see you. Howre ya? Workin?
Or still honest? Jenny: Fine. Have been feeling? Bernard: Oh, just stopped by to see Pop.
Get off my feet till my train leaves. Im going to Washington in a few minutes. Charley: Hey youre going to miss that train. Willy: He made it. And you never told him what to do, did you?
You never took any interest in him. Charley: I offered you a job. You can make fifty dollars a week. And I wont send you on the road. Willy: Whats the matter with you? Ive got a job.
Charley: Then whatre you walkin in here every week for? Stanley: Ah, its a dogs life. I only wish during the war theyd a took me in the Army. I coulda been dead by now. Happy: Its a little celebration. My brother is I think he pulled off a big deal today.
I think were going into business together. Stanley: Cause whats the difference? Somebody steals? Its in the family. Know what I mean? Like this bartender here.
The boos is goin crazy what kinda leak hes got in the cash register. You put it in but it dont come out. Happy: I just got here. Uh, Miss?
Girl: Im happy to meet you. Biff: Isnt Dad coming? Biff: I saw Oliver all right. Now look, I want to tell Dad a couple of things and I want you to help me.
Happy: What? Is he going to back you? Biff: I did a terrible thing today, Hap. Its been the strangest day I ever went through. Im all numb, I swear. Happy: You mean he wouldnt see you?
Biff: Well, he left see. And the secretary went out. I was all alone in the waiting-room. I dont know what came over me, Hap. The next thing I know Im in his office paneled walls, everything. I cant explain it.
I Hap, I took his fountain pen. Willy: Gee, I havent been here in years! Biff: Yeah, Oliver. All day, as a mater of cold fact. And a lot of instances facts, Pop, facts about my life come back to me. Who was it, Pop?
Who ever said I was a salesman with Oliver. Willy: I was fired, and Im looking for a little good news to tell your mother, because the woman has waited and the woman has suffered. The gist of it is that I haven got a story left in my head, Biff. So dont give me a lecture about facts and aspects.
I am not interested. Now what you got to say to me? Willy: No, youre no good, youre no good for anything. Biff: Pop, listen!
Listen to me! Im telling you something good. Oliver talked to his partner about the Florida idea. You listening? He he talked to his partner, and he came to me Im going to be all right, you hear? Dan, listen to me, he said it was just a question of the amount!
Willy: Biff youre going to go to the lunch tomorrow, or Biff: Howre ya, miss, sit down. What do you drink? Happy: Dont I know it! Me!
Biff: Hap, help him! Jesus... help him Help me, help me, I cant bear to look at his face! Left: Dont you want to tell your farther Happy: No, thats not my father. Hes just a guy.
Come on, well catch Biff, and, huge, were going to paint this town! Willy: Will you stop laughing? Will you stop? The Woman: What you have another drink, honey, and stop being so damn self-centered? Willy: Theyre knocking on the wrong door. The Woman: Its getting on my nerves, Willy.
Theres somebody standing out there and its getting on my nerves! Willy: All right stay in the bathroom here. Biff: Why didnt you answer? Willy: I just heard you. I was in the bathroom and had the door shut. Did anything happen at home?
Biff: Dad, I flunked math. Willy: Yeah? What you do? Biff: Somebody got in you bathroom! The Woman: Can I come in? Theres something in the bathtub, Willy, and its moving!
Willy: Get out of here! Go back. Biff: You you gave her mamas stockings! Willy: I gave you an order! Biff: You fake! You phony little fake!
You fake! Linda: Where were you? Biff: Where is he. Linda: Youre not going near him! Happy: Now look, Mom Linda: Did you have to go to women tonight? You and you lousy rotten whores!
Happy: But, mom, he had a great time with us Linda: You! You didnt even go in to see if he was all right. Biff: Whats he doing out there? Linda: Hes planting the garden!
Biff: Now? Oh, my God! Willy: Its twenty thousand dollars on the barrelhead. Guaranteed, gilt-edged, you understand? Ben: Its called a cowardly thing, William. Willy: Oh, Ben, how do we get back to all the great times?
Biff: There are people all around here. Dont you realize that? Willy: Youre not going to see Oliver tomorrow? Biff: All right, we had it out. Im going and Im not writing any more. Linda: I think thats the best way, dear.
Willy: I want you to know, on the train, in the mountain, in the valleys, wherever you go, that you cut down your life for spite! Biff: All right, phony! Then lets lay it on the line. Biff whips out the rubber tube. Willy: I never saw that. Biff: There be no pity for you, you hear it?
No pity! Willy: I suppose thats my fault. Biff: And I never got anywhere because you blew me so full of hot air I could never stand takin orders from anybody! Thats whose fault it is!
Willy: Then hang yourself! For spite, hang yourself! Biff: Pop! Im a dime a dozen, and so are you! Willy: Isnt that isnt that remarkable?
Biff he likes me! Linda: He loves you, Willy! Happy: Always did, Pop. Willy: Come on.
Go to sleep, Hap. Linda: Come, dear. Willy: In a few minutes, Linda. I couldnt sleep right now. Go on, you look awful tired. Willy: Sure, its the best thing Ben: Best thing!
Willy: Can you imagine that magnificence with twenty thousand dollars. Ben: Time, William, time! As the car speeds off, the music crashes. Requiem Charley: Its getting dark, Linda.
Happy: He had no right to do that. There was no necessity for it. We wouldve helped him. Linda: But where were all the people he knew? Maybe they blame him.
Biff: There were a lot of nice days. When hed come home from a trip; or on Sundays, making the stoop; finishing the cellar; putting on the porch. Happy: Im not licked that easily. Im staying right in this city, and Im gonna beat this racket! The Loan Brothers! Linda: Forgive me, dear.
I cant cry. I dont know what it is, but I cant cry. I dont understand it. Why did you ever do that?
Help me, Willy, I cant cry. It seems to me that youre just on another trip. I keep expecting you. Willy, and I search, and I cant understand it, Willy.
I made the last payment on the house today. Today, dear. And there be nobody home. Were free and clear.
Were free. Were free Were free Part C: (See next page. ) This is an illustration as I imagined Linda. Linda was an honest person with a strong minded character. I saw her as a simple house wife with hidden emotions and expressions. Following Millers stage directions, Most often jovial, she has developed an iron repression of her expressions to Willys behavior I feel that this illustration best represents Lindas character. Part D: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
This quote has a significant relationship with the play Death of a Salesman. Several characters are unsuccessful for this very reason. Throughout the duration of the play Willy has flash backs which show several important sequences in the Loan family past. This statement warns that those who do not consider mistakes of the past, are doomed to repeat the same mistake in the future. People must learn from and remember their mistakes so they do not make the same mistake twice. Willy Loan was a troubled man who often remembered and recreated the past in his illusions.
He constantly made connections to his past, trying to find out what he did so wrong. Willy often dreamed about how to become successful, like Ben, just let success come to you. Willy could never put the pieces together to realize that success comes with hard work, but you must do something you are good at as well. Willy tried to be something that he was not.
He though he was well-liked but in truth only a few actually liked the ailing salesman. To understand Willy we have to look at his past. When he was young his father, a craftsman and salesman traveled the country selling his flutes. Though it is not directly said one may assume that Willys father was not a very good salesman either. Willy must have found an interest or an obligation to become a salesman just like his father but Willy just wasnt a good salesman and, well he never really was. This tradition of salesmen seems like it will continue in Happy.
Near the end of the play he expresses his interest in becoming a salesman like his father. One can assume that Happy doesnt realize the past and the he himself will continue the loop in repeating the failing occupation. In the Requiem Happy says, Im not licked that easily. Im staying right in this city, and Im gonna beat this racket! (Miller, p 138) This seems to suggest that Happy wants to tackle the business life just like his father. All the unsuccessful people in the book dont learn from their past and constantly fail. Biff has gone from job to job and he still ends up at home, where he began.
He doesnt realize he must change something about himself, success will not come easily. People wont just give you money. Biff soon recognized this when Oliver basically laughed at him when he asked for money. This quotation can be considered one of the main themes of the play. We must learn from our past mistakes, by never repeating them. Try to make yourself a better person by taking your former mistakes and turning them into positive personal attributes, and therefore making your character stronger.
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