Death Of A Salesman
By: Arthur Miller
Biff is a 34 year old man who has failed at finding a steady, successful job ever since high school. His father, Willy, is a businessman who whole-heartedly believes in the “American Dream.” Willy is just an average Joe, but he believes he and his family are very successful. Biff is sick and tired of living a lie, and he tries to convince his father to stop living in a dream.
All right, phony! Then let’s lay it on the line. (Anger building up) You are going to hear the truth about us-what you are and what I am! Willy, you don’t know who we are! We never told the truth for ten minutes in this house! You’re practically full of it! We all are! And I’m through with it. Now hear this, Willy, this is me. You know why I had no address for three months? I stole a suit in Kansas City and I was in jail. I stole myself out of every job since high school! And I never got anywhere because you blew me so full of hot air I could never stand taking orders from anybody! That’s whose fault it is! It’s about goddam time that you have heard this! I had to be boss big shot in two weeks, and I’m through with it! (More frustrated with Willy) Listen, Willy, listen! I ran down eleven flights with a pen in my hand today. And suddenly I stopped, you hear me? And in the middle of that office building, do you hear this? 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 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? (Becomes more emotional) Pop! I’m only a dime a dozen, and so are you! I am not a leader of men, and neither are you. You were never anything but a hard-working drummer who landed in the ash can like all 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! (Biff falls to knees and starts crying) Will you let me go, for Christ’s sake? Will you take that phony dream and burn it before something happens? (Stands up and tries to pull himself together) I’ll go in the morning. Put him-put him to bed