Notes on Objects & Places from Death of a Salesman

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Death of a Salesman Objects/Places

Studebaker: The Studebaker is the car in which Willy kills himself. His first obvious lapse in reality is when he admits that he thought that he was driving the Chevy the whole day, when actually he was driving the Studebaker.

Chevy: The Chevy is the car Willy had when Biff was in high school. Willy remembers a day when the boys were waxing the car after he returned from a trip. His comments about the Chevy, first that it’s the greatest car ever built, then that they shouldn’t be allowed to manufacture such junk, show his tendency to contradict himself.

Football: Biff stole the football from the locker room because the coach told him to work on his passing. Willy tells him to return it, but then says that the coach would congratulate Biff on his initiative instead of being angry that he stole it.

Fountain Pen: Biff steals the fountain pen from Bill Oliver’s desk when he goes to borrow money to start a business. He can’t keep from taking it, and it ruins his chance to get the loan.

Rubber Piping: Linda tells Biff and Happy about the rubber piping she found in the basement with the attachment that fits around the nipple on the water heater’s gas pipe. Willy’s been trying to kill himself with it, and although she often takes it from the basement while he’s gone, she always puts it back before he returns, because she doesn’t want to insult him by confronting him about it. Biff takes it from the basement and later confronts Willy with the piping before Willy kills himself in the Studebaker.

Building Supplies: Biff and Happy stole building supplies from a construction site so that Willy could build a new stoop. He pretended to scold them when they stole lumber, but he really was proud of their theft, and his attitude encourages their deviant behavior.

University of Virginia sneakers: Biff printed 'University of Virginia' on a pair of sneakers he had because that’s where he wanted to go play ball in college. The shoes show up in Willy’s memory at the first mention of Biff having trouble with math. Later, Bernard tells Willy that he knew Biff had given up his life when he threw those shoes into the furnace after he got back from visiting Willy in Boston.

Frank’s Chop House : Frank’s Chop House is the restaurant where Willy met Biff and Hap for dinner. Biff told Willy about the incident with Bill Oliver while they were in the restaurant, and the disappointment sent Willy reeling back to the past. Biff and Hap left Willy babbling to himself in the bathroom of the restaurant, and that was the final straw for Linda. After that, she tells both the boys to leave and not to come back.

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