Did Willy Have Life Insurance?

Willy Has Life Insurance: Linda is an understanding and supportive spouse. She gently reminds Willy of their options if the money from their life insurance payout was needed for mortgage or other expenses.

Willy’s suicide for insurance money is indicative of his misguided interpretation of the American Dream, which places emphasis on material success over emotional well-being. This narrative contributed to Willy’s tragic end.

Charley tells Willy that he is worth more dead than alive.

Linda attempts to dissuade Willy from going ahead with his plan, but he remains undeterred. Willy believes his two boys may be disappointed but he will have the satisfaction of knowing he tried. In a flashback conversation with Ben (his dead brother), Willy shares his interpretation of America as rewarding hard work and beauty; thus leaving him disappointed that Biff and Happy haven’t lived up to his standards.

After the flashback, Willy returns to present-day Brooklyn. While talking to himself and remembering childhood events, he becomes bitter at his lack of success in business and failure to make something of himself. Linda enters and suggests asking Howard Wagner for work opportunities in New York City; Willy becomes incensed and demands to know why Howard has left Brooklyn while he remains there; this argument prompts Ben to remind Willy that had they just had more chances he might have become much bigger deal himself.

Willy then tells Linda he plans to sell their house and move to California, which takes her by surprise and shock. Linda attempts to convince Willy otherwise; she attempts to persuade him that they are making good money together but Willy refuses. Linda attempts to persuade Willy of their worth as people while Willy refuses.

Bernard enters and introduces himself to Willy, offering him a fifty-dollar-a-week sales job that should pay him $50 weekly. Willy declines and explains he worked at one company for 36 years until they fired him in March as top salesperson.

Willy begins having flashbacks during their discussion. He imagines himself standing before Ben with a smile on his face telling him the future looks bright for Biff and Happy. Once this dream ends, Willy becomes annoyed that neither has accomplished what he has.

Linda attempts to convince Willy that his boys are trying to break him down and will ultimately succeed in some form or another, reminding him he has life insurance. Willy enters another flashback scene from his childhood; in this one he and his friends are shooting marshmallows at each other while wearing pink shirt and brown thigh-high socks while carrying a wooden club that symbolizes his amputated leg below knee. As they play together he lies down under a blanket until suddenly an enormous rock comes crashing down onto him!

Willy tells Charley that he is worth more dead than alive.

Willy used to work in sales for a company but has since been demoted to commission wages, struggling to provide his family with enough money. Feeling abandoned by life and desperate to regain his former status in life, Willy is contemplating suicide because it will provide his family with enough resources for them to live comfortably – something he had been contemplating but is ready to act upon now. Charley informs him of Willy’s plan stating that this idea has been an ongoing thought of his.

As Willy attempts to sell himself to Charley, he recounts his past success as an honest salesperson who worked tirelessly and achieved results – unlike now where he has not been getting as many results and so feels guilty that his family cannot enjoy an easier lifestyle due to him not providing them as many jobs. Willy asserts he wants nothing more than to prove himself again as an incredible salesman.

Willy experiences an unusual hallucination: Ben, their long-deceased brother. Willy attempts to impress Ben with tales of his success in business; hoping that Ben will approve of Willy taking his own life so Biff can use the insurance money for starting up a sports goods company with it.

Willy returns home, furious that Biff has not found similar success as himself. He believes he could get better terms from his boss Howard Wagner by taking his own life; furthermore he blames their mother’s sexual addiction as the reason why his sons cannot achieve their potential.

Linda arrives and attempts to calm Willy down by explaining that his car accidents haven’t been unintentional. She assures Willy that she won’t let him return down this road again.

Biff enters, upset with Willy for being judgmental of him. Biff explains he’s trying to live out his version of the American Dream after being pressured into becoming a sex worker by his parents; in addition, he’s an alcoholic and womanizer; telling Willy that he is content with his lifestyle without becoming a businessman.

Willy finds himself speechless and begins speaking aloud to himself, explaining that his inability to commit suicide stems from caring for his children; if he died instead, they would all be happier.

Willy then attempts to insert a gun into his mouth but is unsuccessful. Instead, he yells out loud: “I am worth more dead than alive!” While screaming this line out loud, a police siren suddenly sounds and the scene fades to real world, leaving audiences shocked at this tragic end to the play.