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Death of a Salesman Cheat Sheet Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Definition of Capitalism

an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

Symbol - Seeds

"The grass don't grow there anymore, you can't raise a carrot in the backya­rd... Remember those two beautiful elm trees out there? When I and Biff hung the swing from them?"
The grass symbolizes Willy's hopes and dreams, dead and barren like the grass. The elm trees symbolize Biff and Willy's past strong bond.
"On the way home tonight, I'd like to buy some seeds... Not enough sun gets back there. Nothing'll grow anymor­e."
Willy's desire to buy seeds and grow them symbolizes his pursuit to redeem himself as a salesman and a father.
The seeds symbolize Willy and his attempt to prove his worth as a salesman and a father.

Symbol - Stockings

"I won't have you mending stockings in this house! Now throw them out!"
Willy is reminded of his lies and affair. He wants Linda to throw away her stockings, to get rid of this reminder.
"­She's nothing to me, Biff. I was lonely. I was terribly lonely... You-you gave her Mama's stocki­ngs­!"
Biff wanted to follow Willy's instru­ctions to be liked. Willy blames himself for how Biff's life turned out. He is reminded of how he failed as a father.
The stocking represents Willy's guilt of having an affair and inability to provide for his family.

Quotes from the Commentary

"­Dream is likely to become nightmare for indivi­duals caught in between the dualities of an encroa­ching materi­alism and the rampant consum­erism it implie­s."
"­Hap­piness is equated with material success; anything less than being rich signifies failur­e."