Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

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Act II, Part 3: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How has Bernard changed from when he was a boy?

2. What is Bernard’s job and what will he do in Washington, DC?

3. Why did Biff not graduate from high school?

4. What big question does Bernard ask Willy? How does Willy respond?

5. According to Charley, why doesn’t Bernard mention the reason for his trip to Washington, DC?

6. Why does Willy ask Charley to borrow more than the usual $50?

7. Other than a loan of money, what does Charley offer Willy? Does Willy accept?

8. Does Willy conceal from Charley the fact that Howard fired him?

9. What does Charley say about Willy’s belief that success would come “if a man was impressive, and well liked”?

10. What might Willy mean when he says, “you end up worth more dead than alive”?

Answers
1. As an adult, Bernard is mature, likable, self-assured, and athletic – very different from the meek, timid, overly studious teenager whom Willy called “anemic.”

2. Bernard is a lawyer and will argue a case in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC.

3. Biff did not graduate because he flunked a math class. Although he planned to attend summer school to make up the class, he never went. The reasons he decided not to attend remain unclear.

4. Bernard asks, “What happened in Boston, Willy?” In other words, did Biff’s visit to see Willy in Boston have anything to do with Biff’s decision not to attend summer school? Willy replies that nothing happened in Boston, but this quick, defensive response makes us wonder if he is hiding something.

5. Charley explains that Bernard does not have to mention he will argue a case in front of the Supreme Court – “he’s gonna do it.” Unlike Bernard, Willy has always been all talk and no action.

6. Willy asks to borrow $110, rather than...

(The entire section is 464 words.)