In Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" what is Willy's turning point?How does Biff and Willy's relationship change?

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kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Willy’s turning point is when he realizes that he can still be of use to his family and bring in the sort of income and support he had dreamed of, but never managed to accomplish. Sadly, the way he will achieve this financial stability is with his death. Willy has kept up with his life insurance payments throughout his life. He will not take a job from Charley, but he will accept his financial help to pay his insurance.

 Funny, y’know? After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive.

Biff and Happy had left Willy talking to himself in the restaurant toilet. Biff realizes that his father cannot see reality, and confronts him about his suicide plan. As they argue, Biff produces the rubber pipe Willy has left by the gas boiler-

 What is this supposed to do, make a hero out of you?

As Biff forces each of them to see reality, he breaks down. Willy sees that despite the issue of the other woman, Biff still loves his father. This renews Willy’s faith in his son, and he decides that the insurance money is the start Biff needs-

 Can you imagine that magnificence with twenty thousand dollars in his pocket?





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Death of a Salesman

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