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Death of a Salesman book cover

Death of a Salesman Quotes

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.
The jungle is dark but full of diamonds, Willy.
A small man can be just as exhausted as a great man.
I realized what a ridiculous lie my whole life has been.
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?.
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.
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.
Be loving to him. Because he’s only a little boat looking for a harbor.
A man is not a bird, to come and go with the springtime.
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.
The only thing you've got in this world is what you can sell.
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.
Figure it out. Work a lifetime to pay off a house. You finally own it, and there's nobody to live in it.
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.
Charley: He won't starve. None a them starve. Forget about him. Willy: Then what have I got to remember?.
On the road I want to grab you sometimes and just kiss the life outa you.
The only thing you got in this world is what you can sell.
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.
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.
He's just a big stupid man to you, but I tell you there's more good in him than in may other people.
When I was seventeen I walked into the jungle, and when I was twenty-one I walked out. And by God I was rich.
As a character in another Miller play (After the Fall) remarks, the past is holy. Why? Not merely because the present contains the past, but because a moral world depends on an acceptance of the notion of causality, on an acknowledgment that we are responsible for, and a product of, our actions.
I don’t know what the future is. I don’t know-what I’m supposed to want.
But then, it’s what I always wanted. My own apartment, a car, and plenty of women. And still, goddammit, I’m lonely.
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 a couple of spots on your hat, and you're finished.