Willy's adventurous brother, who has just died in Africa when the play begins. At moments of great stress or doubt, Willy converses with Ben's ghost. Ben is the embodiment of the most old-fashioned aspect of the American Dream, the idea that a man can set out into the wilderness by himself and come back wealthy. Willy regrets not following Ben's path and testing himself against rugged natural settings. Yet he barely knew Ben, and Ben showed contempt for him on his few visits to Willy's home.
The Death of a Salesman quotes below are all either spoken by Ben Loman or refer to Ben Loman. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of Death of a Salesman published in 2011.).
Act 1 Quotes
The man knew what he wanted and went out and got it! Walked into a jungle, and comes out, the age of twenty-one, and he's rich! The world is an oyster, but you don't crack it open on a mattress!
Never fight fair with a stranger, boy. You'll never get out of the jungle that way.
Act 2 Quotes
The jungle is dark but full of diamonds, Willy.
The timeline below shows where the character Ben Loman appears in Death of a Salesman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...his sons steal any more from the construction site nearby. Willy, still trying to impress Ben, brags that his sons are fearless characters. Charley counters that the jails are full of... (full context)
...goes upstairs. Linda follows soon after. Willy promises to also come upstairs soon. Alone, now, Ben appears to him, and Willy assures Ben that Biff will be magnificent one day, once... (full context)