100%(2)2 out of 2 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 21 - 23 out of 31 pages.
Unfortunately, Willy is incapable of facing the truth, even though Biff tells him to burn his phony dreams. Happy has no desire to face the truth; he is totally content in his petty, live-for-today existence.When Biff breaks down and sobs, over Willy's blindness and his own failures, it is a climactic moment in the play. Ironically, Biff's attempts to make Willy face reality turn out the very opposite of what Biff wants. Willy feels that Biff needs him more than ever and is desperate to give his son something to make him a success. The depth of Willy's desperation has become apparent in this act. He talks to his dead brother Ben, in couched terms, about committing suicide. He believes that if Biff has the twenty thousand dollars from his life insurance policy, he can make something of himself and become successful. He also believes that Biff, whom he feels hates him and spites him, will be impressed when he sees how many people attend his father's funeral.It is important to realize that the jungle that Ben keeps mentioning in Willy's illusion is the jungle of death. Ben's caution to his brother, "Time, William, Time," reminds Willy that life is closing in on her and time is running out. At the end of the act, Willy leaves in the car to commit suicide.REQUIEMSummaryAt Willy's grave a few days later, Linda wonders why no one has come to the funeral. Linda also tells Charley that for the first time in thirty-five years, they havecleared their debts. Biff comments to Charley that Willy had all the wrong dreams, but Charley answers that a salesman must have dreams to live.After the others leave, Linda stays at the grave to say goodbye to Willy. She tells him that she has made the last mortgage payment on their house; ironically, now that it is paid for, she says that there is no one to live there.NotesThe requiem is a sad afterword on Willy Loman's life and brings the play to an appropriate and tragic end. After he commits suicide, no one attends Willy's
DEATH OF A SALESMANfuneral, proving he was not well liked or admired, as he had longed for. The empty funeral is final proof that his dreams and philosophies were phony. Biff seems to know that Willy had all the wrong dreams, but he himself does not yet have a firm grasp of reality; there is, however, some hope for him, since he is able to admit the failures of his life. Happy, on the other hand, is mired in a world of illusions, just like his father. He honestly believes that he will soon be promoted to store manager, thereby justifying Willy's dreams for him. It is obvious that Happy will never be any more successful than Willy.The motif of being "used up" closes the play. Willy's life was used up - by the Wagner Company and by his fantasies. This "used" motif is the basis for Miller's strongest condemnation of American society. Like most middle class men, Willy worked very hard and had very little. He was never able to get anything paid beforeit was used up. By the time he paid off the refrigerator, the car, and the house, they were falling apart and in need of repair.