Requiem Notes from Death of a Salesman

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Death of a Salesman Requiem

Charley and Biff urge Linda to leave the graveside because it's almost night, but she won't go. She wonders aloud why no one came to the funeral, and she asks if maybe it's because people blame him for how he died. Charley assures her that no one would blame him for it because the world is rough. Linda can't understand why Willy killed himself when they were so close to having everything paid off and all they would have needed was a small salary to keep them going. Charley said that no man only needs a small salary. Biff, remembering better times, tells Charley that, "there's more of [Willy] in that front stoop than in all the sales he ever made." Requiem, pg. 110 Biff believes that Willy had the wrong dreams, and Happy gets mad at him for saying that, for implying that Willy's life was wasted. Charley tells Biff that they can't blame Willy for what happened or for having the wrong dreams. He was a salesman, and a salesman has to dream because the life they lead is so precarious -- their fate hinges on contacts and popularity, and when that goes, their life is over. So Willy had to dream because that's what salesman do. Biff says again that Willy never knew who he was, and Hap is infuriated. Biff asks Hap to come with him out West, but Hap insists that he'll stay in the city and win the fight that Willy started, but lost. He'll stay there and become the best just for Willy. Biff, shaking his head, just lets it go and tries to get Linda to leave. She wants to have a minute alone to say goodbye before she goes, so the men all step away.

Topic Tracking: Failure 11

The flute begins to play as she talks to Willy. Linda tells him that she can't cry because she feels like he's just gone on another trip and she expects him to come back at any second. She can't understand why he did this now, when they were so close to being free from debt, free from worry. She tells him that she made the last payment on the house today, but now there's no one but her to live in it. She begins to sob and Biff helps her up. Biff and Linda, followed by Bernard and Charley, then Hap behind them, all leave the cemetery. As the stage darkens, only the flute music remains as the apartment buildings rise into sharp focus behind the house.

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