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Points to Ponder

Willy makes an ironic comment about Charley and Bernard (who are extremely successful compared to Willy) by saying that "they are liked, but not well-liked." Yet, in the end, the viewer sees that Willy himself is disliked since no one shows up even at his funeral. Has Willy been a victim of his own disillusions for most of his life? To whom and why was he afraid of telling the truth? Does Linda help reinforce these disillusions? If yes, does she then contribute to Willy's death?

Several times in the play Happy tries to make himself known to his parents, yet they ignore him (losing weight, getting married, Willy's over-concern with Biff). Would you consider that Happy's rejection of Willy in the restaurant is "pay back" for all these years of neglect? Is he justified? What kind of son is Happy, and how do Willy and Linda differ in their parenting of Biff over Happy?

Biff and Willy have the most important relationship in the play. When young Biff sees Willy having the affair with the other woman, how does this change his life? When the distraught Willy makes Biff cry, why does he get so emotional? Was Biff wrongly raised by Willy to be too over-confident? Whose fault is it that Biff fails his math test? Who acts more like a child: Willy or Biff? (Consider Willy's emotional immaturity.)

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Act One - Part 1
Act One - Part 2
Act One - Part 3
Act One - Part 4
Act Two - Part 1
Act Two - Part 2
Act Two - Part 3
Act Two - Part 4
Act Two - Part 5


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