Why does Willy reject Charley's job offer in Death of a Salesman?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act 2 of Death Of a Salesman Willy Loman is offered a job by his neighbor, Charley. Charley and his son Bernard are the antithesis of Willy and Biff. Willy, always proud, pushy and with delusions of grandeur, expected only the utmost from Biff, and always put down his neighbor and his child in favor of Biff being a big, football player and he a salesman.

However, it turns out that it was Willy who came down in his luck, Biff ended up being a loser, and it was Charley's support of his son (not him being pushy) that turned their relationship successful. Bernard ended up being a lawyer, and Charley a successful man who was even able to offer a job for Willy.

Willy rejected because of his own ego. His situation was bad enough for him to even borrow money from Charley instead of working for him. It would have been an even deeper humiliation and blow to his self esteem.

inkydog22 | Student

mkcapen1 is mistaken, that is what ben said to willy, not charley


mkcapen1 | Student

The other reason that Willy turned down the job offer from Charley in the play The Death of a Salesman is because the job was all the way in Alaska. Willy is not a young man full of energy ready to face a new frontier and to have to learn a new territory far away. If Willy were to accept such a position there would be no guarantees that he would be successful. In addition, Happy lives with him and his wife and he would have to figure out what to do to relocate. I am also not sure if the job offer was meant to be a real job offer or not. Willy is at wits ends and Charley may feel like he is at that point. Sending Willy far away would also be stress off of Charley.