Death of a Salesman

Willy's neighbor, a steady businessman. He is a constant friend to Willy through the years, though Willy is quick to take offense whenever Charley tries to bring Willy's unrealistic dreams down to earth. Charley foresees Willy's destruction and tries to save him by offering him a job. He gives the final elegy about what it meant for Willy to live and die as a salesman.

Charley Quotes in Death of a Salesman

The Death of a Salesman quotes below are all either spoken by Charley or refer to Charley. 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:
The American Dream Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Death of a Salesman published in 2011.
Act 2 Quotes
The only thing you got in this world is what you can sell. And the funny thing is that you're a salesman, and you don't know that.
Related Characters: Charley (speaker), Willy Loman
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:

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Requiem Quotes
There were a lot of nice days. When he'd come home from a trip; or on Sundays, making the stoop; finishing the cellar; putting on the new porch... You know something, Charley, there's more of him in that front stoop than in all the sales he ever made.
Related Characters: Biff Loman (speaker), Willy Loman, Charley
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

He don't put a bolt to a nut, he don't tell you the law or give you medicine. He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine... A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.
Related Characters: Charley (speaker), Willy Loman
Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Charley Character Timeline in Death of a Salesman

The timeline below shows where the character Charley 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
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Abandonment and Betrayal Theme Icon
...he will soon open a bigger, more successful business than that owned by their neighbor, Charley, because he is better liked than Charley. (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Abandonment and Betrayal Theme Icon
Bernard, Charley's son, enters. He wonders why Biff has not come over to study math with him.... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Charley, who has heard the voices in Willy's house, comes over from next door to see... (full context)
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Nature vs. City Theme Icon
Willy asks Charley what he thinks of the new ceiling Willy has put up. Charley shows interest, but... (full context)
Nature vs. City Theme Icon
Abandonment and Betrayal Theme Icon
In a kind of daydream, Willy's rugged, dignified older brother Ben appears onstage. Willy tells Charley that Ben died only a few weeks ago, in Africa. In his grogginess, he talks... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Abandonment and Betrayal Theme Icon
A younger Charley enters and warns Willy not to let his sons steal any more from the construction... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Abandonment and Betrayal Theme Icon
...commission. Nobody will buy from him anymore, and he borrows fifty dollars a week from Charley and claims it is his salary. She tells her sons that Willy has worked all... (full context)
Act 2
The American Dream Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
...helmet, but Happy insists on carrying that. Biff allows Bernard to carry his shoulder pads. Charley enters and jokes with Willy about the game, trying to deflate Willy's excessive expectations about... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Abandonment and Betrayal Theme Icon
Bernard, now grown, is waiting in the reception room outside Charley's office. Charley's secretary, Jenny, comes in to ask Bernard to deal with Willy, who has... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Just then, Charley comes out of his office and hands Bernard a goodbye gift, a bottle of bourbon.... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Bernard leaves, and Willy follows Charley into his office. Charley starts to count out the usual fifty dollars, but Willy sheepishly... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Abandonment and Betrayal Theme Icon
Charley gives Willy the money to pay his life insurance premium. Willy muses that he has... (full context)
Requiem
The American Dream Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Abandonment and Betrayal Theme Icon
The only people at Willy's funeral are his family, Charley and Bernard. Linda is bewildered by the absence of all Willy's business associates, and wonders... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Nature vs. City Theme Icon
Abandonment and Betrayal Theme Icon
Charley delivers an eulogy in Willy's defense. He says that a salesman doesn't do anything concrete... (full context)