Death of a Salesman

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Stockings Symbol Analysis

Stockings Symbol Icon
During his affair with The Woman, Willy gives her the intimate gift of stockings. Biff's outburst at discovering Willy with The Woman—"You gave her Mama's stockings!"—fixes the stockings in Willy's mind as a symbol of his betrayal. He has let his wife down emotionally, and he is siphoning the family's already strained financial resources toward his ego-stroking affair.
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Stockings Symbol Timeline in Death of a Salesman

The timeline below shows where the symbol Stockings appears in Death of a Salesman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
The American Dream Theme Icon
Abandonment and Betrayal Theme Icon
...him out from all the salesmen. He is extremely flattered. She thanks him for the stockings he has given her as a gift, and promises that when he returns she will... (full context)
Act 2
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Abandonment and Betrayal Theme Icon
...Chop House, a steak restaurant in Manhattan. Willy is elated, but just then notices a stocking in Linda's hand. He tells her not to mend stockings, at least not while he's... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Abandonment and Betrayal Theme Icon
...so she had to take a shower in his. The Woman demands a box of stockings before she leaves. Biff begins to cry. Willy makes a host of excuses before admitting... (full context)