What are 10 significant events that take place in Act Two of Death of a Salesman?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a list of ten significant events that take place in Act Two of the play Death of a Salesman.

1. Willy asks Howard for a non-traveling job in New York, but Howard explains to Willy that there is no position available. Howard believes that Willy is no longer valuable to the company and ends up firing him.

2. Willy then visits Charley's office where he runs into Bernard who is a successful lawyer. When Willy asks Bernard why Biff never accomplished anything, Bernard mentions that Biff's future derailed when he came home from Boston after failing his math test.

3. Charley then gives Willy his weekly fifty dollars and wonders why Willy refuses to accept his job offer. Willy's pride prevents him from accepting the job offer.

4. After Charley gives Willy enough money to pay his insurance premium, Charley believes that he will be worth more dead than alive. This scene foreshadows Willy's suicide.

5. At Frank's Chop House, Biff explains to Happy that he did not receive a business loan from Bill Oliver who did not recognize him. Biff also tells Happy that he was not even a salesman and realizes that he has been living a lie his entire life.

6. Willy then joins his sons for dinner and tells them that he has been fired. Biff then tries to tell his father the truth about their lives, but Willy refuses to accept reality and begins to act delusional by reliving memories.

7. After Biff and Happy leave the restaurant, Willy relives the memory of Biff walking into his Boston apartment unannounced. Willy cannot successfully hide The Woman who he is having an affair with, and the audience becomes aware of why Biff resents his father.

8. When Biff and Happy finally return home, Linda chastises them for leaving Willy alone at the restaurant and tells them to pack their things. Biff then goes outside to confront his father who is planting seeds at night.  

9. Biff explains to Willy that he is willing to leave the family and stay out his life because he cannot live up to his father's impossible expectations. Biff then slams the rubber hose in front of Willy and begins to express how everyone in the family is delusional. He urges his father to throw away his unattainable, false dreams and begins to sob as he goes upstairs.

10. Willy cheers up after seeing his son cry because he finally believes that Biff cares about him. When everyone is in bed, Willy has an imaginary conversation with Ben and drives away to commit suicide. Act Two ends as Willy takes his final ride.