A short summary of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of Death of a Salesman. Death of a Salesman Summary. Willy Loman is a salesman living in New York City in the late 's. He lives with his wife, Linda, in the same house for the last twenty-five years. This combined with the constant driving and lackluster sales, causes Willy so much stress, that he begins to hallucinate. A caustic attack on the "American Dream" of materialism, Death of a Salesman is a three-act play (two acts and a "requiem"), centering on the.
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In an effort to pacify their father, Biff and Happy tell their father that Biff plans to make a business proposition the next day.
Death of a Salesman Summary
The next day, Willy goes to ask his boss, Howard, for a job in town while Biff goes to make a business proposition, but both fail. Willy gets angry and ends up getting fired when the boss tells him he needs a rest and can no longer represent the company.
Biff waits hours to see a former employer who does not remember him and turns him down. Biff impulsively steals a fountain pen. Willy then goes to the office of his neighbor Charley, where he runs into Charley's son Bernard now a successful lawyer death of a salesman summary Bernard tells him that Biff originally wanted to do well in summer schoolbut something happened in Boston when Biff went to visit his father that changed his mind.
death of a salesman summary
Charley gives the now-unemployed Willy money to pay his life-insurance premium; Willy shocks Charley by remarking that ultimately, a man is "worth death of a salesman summary dead than alive.
Happy tries to get Biff to lie to their father. Biff tries to tell him what happened as Willy gets angry and slips into a flashback of what happened in Boston the day Biff came to see him.
Death of a Salesman Summary -
Willy death of a salesman summary been having an affair with a receptionist on one of his sales trips when Biff unexpectedly arrived at Willy's hotel room. A shocked Biff angrily confronted his father, calling him a liar and a fraud.
From that moment, Biff's views of his father changed and set Biff adrift. Biff leaves the restaurant in frustration, followed by Happy and two girls that Happy has picked up.
They leave a confused and upset Willy behind in the restaurant. When they later return home, their mother angrily confronts them for abandoning their father while Willy remains outside, talking to himself. Biff tries unsuccessfully to reconcile with Willy, but the discussion quickly escalates into another argument.
Biff conveys plainly to his father that he is not meant for anything great, insisting that both of them are simply ordinary men meant to lead ordinary lives. The feud reaches an apparent climax with Biff hugging Willy and crying as he tries to get Willy to let go of the unrealistic expectations.
Rather than listen to what Biff actually says, Willy appears to believe his son has forgiven him and will follow in his footsteps, and after Linda goes upstairs to bed despite her urging him to follow herlapses one final time death of a salesman summary a hallucination, thinking he sees his long-dead death of a salesman summary Ben, whom Willy idolized.
In Willy's mind, Ben approves of the scheme Willy has dreamed up to kill himself in order to give Biff his insurance policy money. Charley and Bernard, in his view, lack the natural charisma that the Loman men possess, which Willy believes is the real determinant of success.
But under the questioning of death of a salesman summary wife Linda, Willy admits that his commission from the trip was so small that they will hardly be able to pay all their bills, and that he is full of self-doubt. Even as Linda reassures him, he hears the laughter of The Woman, his mistress in Boston.
Charley comes over to see if Willy is okay. While they are playing cards, Willy begins talking with the recently deceased figure of his brother Ben, who left home at the age of seventeen and made a diamond fortune in Africa and Alaska.
Charley offers Willy a job but Willy refuses out death of a salesman summary pride, even though he has been borrowing money from Charley every week to cover household expenses.
Full of regrets, Willy compares himself to Ben and their equally adventurous, mysterious father, who abandoned death of a salesman summary when they were young.
He wanders into his back yard, trying to see the stars. She asks him what Biff has against him, and Willy refuses to answer.