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Death of a Salesman

by Arthur Miller

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Act II, Part 2: Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. Who does Willy “meet” after Howard fires him?

2. When Willy tells his brother that “nothing is working out,” what opportunity does Ben offer Willy?

3. What does Linda think of Ben’s offer?

4. What two things does Linda mention to persuade Willy of her opinion about his current job?

5. Does Willy accept Ben’s offer?

6. When Willy asks one last time if Ben approves of his ideas about business and the way he has raised his son, how does Ben respond?

7. Why is it an important day for Biff?

8. Does Charley expect Willy to accept his invitation to play cards?

9. Why does Willy challenge Charley to fight?

10. What comment does this scene as a whole make about Willy’s mood after being fired by Howard?

1.Willy “meets” Ben, his older brother. More precisely, Willy remembers or daydreams the meeting, which appears to the audience as a flashback to time several years ago when Ben visited Willy after a trip to Alaska.

2. Ben offers Willy the chance to work for him in Alaska.

3. Linda does not want Willy to accept the job in Alaska. She thinks Willy should be happy enough in his present job.

4. To persuade Willy not to accept the job in Alaska, Linda reminds Willy that old man Wagner has said Willy may become a member in the firm; she also reminds him of Dave Singleman’s success as a salesman.

5. No. Willy decides not to accept the job in Alaska and to remain in his sales job.

6. Ben neither outright approves or disapproves. However, Ben’s remark that Alaska could make Willy “rich!” means that Ben probably does not entirely endorse Willy’s decisions; Ben seems to say that Willy would be better off going to Alaska.

7. It is an important day because Biff will play in the All-Scholastic Championship of New York – an important high school football game at Ebbets Field.

8. No. Charley asks Willy to play cards as a way of teasing him. Charley only pretends not to know that Willy and Biff and the rest of the family are leaving for the football game.

9. Willy becomes angry with Charley for joking about Biff’s big football game.

10. This section – Willy’s daydream or memory – represents a happier moment in Willy’s life, a moment when he had more faith in his sales career and in Biff’s future success. After being fired, though, this memory cannot bring Willy much happiness, since it must remind him of when he refused the possible wealth of Alaska and continued to believe blindly that both he and Biff would become successful on the basis of merely being liked. In addition, as a whole, this section shows Willy’s tendency to escape reality through daydreams of real or imaginary conversations.

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Act II, Part 1: Questions and Answers


Act II, Part 3: Questions and Answers