What is the inciting incident in Death of a Salesman?  

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To determine the inciting incident of a story, novel, play, or movie, find the event or decision that causes the main character to enter into a conflict or establish a goal for himself. As stories begin, the characters are living their normal lives. The inciting incident breaks them out of their day-to-day routine, setting the main character(s) on track to a new normal. Thus, the inciting incident kicks off the rising action of the story arc. Although it's tempting to take something from a flashback or backstory as the inciting incident, that's not allowed. The inciting incident must be something that occurs after the action of the story begins.

As Death of a Salesman opens, the Loman family is operating in their normal pattern. Yes, Willy's mental state is deteriorating, which has caused Biff to come home for a visit or possibly for good, but these events occur prior to the curtain rising, so neither can be the inciting incident. As act 1 continues, we see Happy and Biff in a bedroom...

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