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Death Of A Salesman Quotes

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death of a salesman quotes
Death Of A Salesman Quotes

Arthur Miller‘s timeless play, “Death of a Salesman,” delves into the struggles of Willy Loman, a traveling salesman, as he grapples with his identity, dreams, and the harsh realities of life. The quotes from the play encapsulate the profound themes and poignant moments that resonate with audiences worldwide.

Willy Loman’s inner turmoil is vividly captured in the quote, “Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be… when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am.” This poignant reflection encapsulates the central conflict of the protagonist – the pursuit of a dream that seems constantly elusive.

Here is a list of all the quotes from “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller that you provided:

  1. “Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be … when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  2. “The jungle is dark but full of diamonds, Willy.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  3. “A small man can be just as exhausted as a great man.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman: Text and Criticism
  4. “I stopped in the middle of that building and I saw — the sky. I saw the things that I love in this world. The work and the food and time time to sit and smoke. And I looked at the pen and said to myself, what the hell am I grabbing this for? Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be? What am I doing in an office, making a contemptuous, begging fool of myself, when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am! Why can’t I say that, Willy?” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  5. “You can’t eat the orange and throw the peel away – a man is not a piece of fruit.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman: Text and Criticism
  6. “I realized what a ridiculous lie my whole life has been.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  7. “Sometimes…it’s better for a man just to walk away. But if you can’t walk away? I guess that’s when it’s tough.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  8. “I don’t say he’s a great man. Willie Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He’s not the finest character that ever lived. But he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall in his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  9. “Be loving to him. Because he’s only a little boat looking for a harbor.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  10. “Pop, I’m nothing! I’m nothing, Pop. Can’t you understand that? There’s no spite in it any more. I’m just what I am, that’s all.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
death of a salesman quotes
Death Of A Salesman Quotes
  1. “Well, I spent six or seven years after high school trying to work myself up. Shipping clerk, salesman, business of one kind or another. And it’s a measly manner of existence. To get on that subway on the hot mornings in summer. To devote your whole life to keeping stock, or making phone calls, or selling or buying. To suffer fifty weeks of the year for the sake of a two-week vacation, when all you really desire is to be outdoors, with your shirt off. And always to have to get ahead of the next fella. And still — that’s how you build a future.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  2. “The only thing you’ve got in this world is what you can sell.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  3. “A man is not a bird, to come and go with the springtime.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  4. “See, Biff, everybody around me is so false that I’m constantly lowering my ideals…” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  5. “Will you let me go for Christ’s sake? Will you take that phony dream and burn it before something happens?” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  6. “Nobody dast blame this man. You don’t understand: Willy was a salesman. And for a salesman, there’s no rock bottom to the life. He don’t put a bolt to a nut, he don’t tell you the law or give you medicine. He’s a man way out there in the blue riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back—that’s an earthquake. And then you get yourself a couple spots on your hat and your finished. Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman is got to dream boy, it comes with the territory.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  7. “It’s a measly manner of existence. To get on that subway on the hot mornings in summer. To devote your whole life to keeping stock, or making phone calls, or selling or buying. To suffer fifty weeks of the year for a two-week vacation, when all you really desire is to be outdoors, with your shirt off. And still—that’s how you build a future.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  8. “Figure it out. Work a lifetime to pay off a house. You finally own it, and there’s nobody to live in it.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  9. “Willy Loman: I don’t want change, I want Swiss cheese!” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  10. “I am not a dime a dozen! I am Willy Loman, and you are Biff Loman!” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
death of a salesman quotes
Death Of A Salesman Quotes
  1. “To suffer fifty weeks of the year for the sake of a two-week vacation, when all you really desire is to be outdoors, with your shirt off.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  2. “I get here, and I don’t know what to do with myself. I’ve always made a point of not wasting my life, and every time I come back here I know that all I’ve done is to waste my life” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  3. “The only thing you got in this world is what you can sell.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman: Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and a Requiem
  4. “On the road I want to grab you sometimes and just kiss the life outa you” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  5. “If personal meaning, in this cheerleader society, lies in success, then failure must threaten identity itself.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman: Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and a Requiem
  6. “Charley: He won’t starve. None a them starve. Forget about him. Willy: Then what have I got to remember?” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  7. “HAPPY: All right, boy. I’m gonna show you and everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vain. He had a good dream. It’s the only dream you can have– to come out number-one man.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  8. “What a woman! They broke the mould when they made her.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  9. “When I was seventeen I walked into the
  1. “I don’t know what the future is. I don’t know-what I’m supposed to want.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
death of a salesman quotes
Death Of A Salesman Quotes
  1. “Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be? What am I doing in an office, making a contemptuous, begging fool of myself, when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am!” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  2. “Pop! I’m a dime a dozen, and so are you” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  3. “I’m gonna show you and everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vain. He had a good dream. It’s the only dream you can have – to come out number-one man. He fought it out here, and this is where I’m gonna win it for him.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  4. “I’ve got to get some seeds. I’ve got to get some seeds, right away. Nothing’s planted. I don’t have a thing in the ground.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  5. “I don’t know what the hell I’m workin’ for. Sometimes I sit in my apartment—all alone. And I think of the rent I’m paying. And it’s crazy. But then, it’s what I always wanted. My own apartment, a car, plenty of women, and still, goddamnit, I’m lonely.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  6. “I am not a leader of men, Willy, and neither are you. You were never anything but a hard-working drummer who landed in the ash can like the rest of them! I’m one-dollar an hour, Willy! I tried seven states and couldn’t raise it. A buck an hour! Do you gather my meaning? I’m not bringing home any prizes anymore and you’re going to stop waiting for me to bring them home!” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  7. “Willy, when’re you gonna realize that them things don’t mean anything. You named him Howard, but you can’t sell that. The only thing you got in this world is what you can sell. And the funny thing is that you’re a salesman, and you don’t know that.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  8. “There’s more people! That’s what’s ruining this country! The competition is maddening! Smell the stink from that apartment house! And the one on the other side…” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  9. “After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  10. “Never fight fair with a stranger, boy. You’ll never get out of the jungle that way.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  11. “Why must everybody conquer the world? You’re well liked and the boys love you and someday—why, old man Wagner told him just the other day that if he keeps it up he’ll be a member of the firm, didn’t he, Willy?” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  12. “He’s liked, but he’s not well liked.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  13. “A small man can be just as exhausted as a great man.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  14. “They don’t need me in New York. I’m the New England man. I’m vital in New England.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  15. “I’ve always made a point of not wasting my life, and every time I come back here I know that all I’ve done is to waste my life.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  16. “I don’t say he’s a great man. Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He’s not the finest character that ever lived. But he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must be finally paid to such a person.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  17. “You can’t eat the orange and throw the peel away — a man is not a piece of fruit!” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  18. “And when I saw that, I realized that selling was the greatest career a man could want. ’Cause what could be more satisfying than to be able to go, at the age of eighty-four, into twenty or thirty different cities, and pick up a phone, and be remembered and loved and helped by so many different people?” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  19. “He’s a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine . . . A salesman is got to dream, boy.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  20. “The man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman: Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and a Requiem

These quotes capture the essence of the characters and the profound themes explored in “Death of a Salesman.”

The metaphorical richness of the play is evident in the line, “The jungle is dark but full of diamonds, Willy.” Here, the jungle symbolizes the challenges and adversities of life, while the diamonds represent the hidden opportunities within those challenges. This duality reflects the complexities of Willy’s perception of the world.

Willy’s exhaustion is poignantly expressed in, “A small man can be just as exhausted as a great man.” This quote encapsulates the universality of human struggles, emphasizing that the weight of life’s burdens can affect anyone, regardless of stature or achievement.

The play explores the conflict between personal desires and societal expectations, as seen in the quote, “I stopped in the middle of that building and I saw — the sky. I saw the things that I love in this world.” Willy’s revelation highlights the clash between his yearning for a meaningful life and the societal pressure to conform to a predefined path.

The futility of superficial success is exposed in, “You can’t eat the orange and throw the peel away – a man is not a piece of fruit.” This metaphor underscores the hollowness of material achievements if they come at the expense of one’s humanity.

Willy’s realization of a life built on deception is powerfully conveyed in, “I realized what a ridiculous lie my whole life has been.” This moment of self-awareness marks a turning point in the narrative, as Willy confronts the consequences of his choices.

The play delves into the complexities of familial relationships, as depicted in, “Be loving to him. Because he’s only a little boat looking for a harbor.” This quote captures the fragility of familial bonds and the need for compassion in the face of personal struggles.

Willy’s son, Biff, grapples with his identity in the poignant line, “Pop, I’m nothing! I’m nothing, Pop. Can’t you understand that? There’s no spite in it anymore. I’m just what I am, that’s all.” Biff’s struggle mirrors the broader theme of self-discovery and acceptance.

The play critiques the societal construct of success with, “Figure it out. Work a lifetime to pay off a house. You finally own it, and there’s nobody to live in it.” This quote challenges the conventional notion of the American Dream, questioning the true value of success if it leads to isolation and emptiness.

In the face of Willy’s relentless pursuit of success, the play offers a sobering reflection, “The only thing you’ve got in this world is what you can sell.” This emphasizes the commodification of human existence and the harsh reality of a world driven by economic considerations.

Willy’s lamentation on the nature of existence is encapsulated in, “A man is not a bird, to come and go with the springtime.” This poetic analogy reflects the permanence of human struggles, contrasting with the fleeting nature of seasonal changes.

The pervasive influence of societal expectations is explored in, “See, Biff, everybody around me is so false that I’m constantly lowering my ideals.” This quote unveils the impact of societal pressures on personal integrity, illustrating the corrosive effects of conformity.

The desperate plea to abandon false dreams is evident in, “Will you let me go for Christ’s sake? Will you take that phony dream and burn it before something happens?” This cry for liberation underscores the destructive nature of unrealistic aspirations and false identities.

Arthur Miller emphasizes the dignity of every individual with, “I don’t say he’s a great man. Willie Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He’s not the finest character that ever lived. But he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid.” This call for attention acknowledges the intrinsic value of human life, irrespective of societal measures of success.

In the context of familial relationships, the quote, “In some ways, we were still happy. Isaac had his words, both English and Cree, and I had my Isaac,” encapsulates the resilience of human connection amid adversity.

As Willy grapples with his inner demons, the play reflects on the transformative power of self-realization with, “And when we heal our land, we are healed also.” This quote highlights the interconnectedness of personal and societal healing.

Death of a Salesman” is a powerful exploration of the human condition, using the struggles of Willy Loman to delve into universal themes of identity, dreams, and the societal constructs that shape our lives. Arthur Miller’s poignant quotes continue to resonate, offering profound insights into the complexities of the human experience.