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Act Two - Part 1

For the first time in months, Willy sleeps in late and he awakes to find Linda in the kitchen cooking breakfast, Happy at work, and Biff on his way to see Bill Oliver. He is delighted and decides to buy some seeds to grow that evening. Willy continues to talk about how Biff's life will change for the better. As Willy makes his way to his office, determined to talk with Howard and demand a New York job where he does not have to travel, Linda reminds him about the money they owe on the car and refrigerator. She also remarks that this will be the last payment on their mortgage and then the house will be entirely theirs. Before he leaves, Linda is reminded that Willy is supposed to meet the boys for dinner that evening at Frank's Chop House, which makes Willy even happier.

Just as Willy disappears, the phone rings and Biff is on the line. Linda is initially excited since she thinks that Willy took off the rubber tube on his own, but Biff sets her straight. They talk a little while longer and Linda profusely relays how happy Willy was that morning before she hangs up.

The scene is now centered in Howard's office, where Willy is asking to have a moment with him to talk. Howard is occupied, playing with his new tape recorder. He proudly plays for Willy the recordings of his family that he made, and he tells Willy that every family should own a recorder. As soon as Willy gets a chance, he reminds Howard that he had been promised a job in New York, but Howard says that he could not find a position for Willy. At this news, Willy starts to plead with Howard, telling him that he only needs to make a few dollars a week to be satisfied. Willy tries to explain how Howard's father made promises to him, that he was so connected to the family that he even suggested the name Howard for him.

Willy then tells Howard the story of another salesman, Dave Singleman, who was very successful and beloved. Willy is implying that he should be treated the same way, but Howard interprets the story by saying that Willy has not been successful as a salesman at all, and therefore, should not get the same consideration as someone like Singleman. Willy tells Howard that he averaged $170 a week in 1928 in commissions, but Howard says that Willy never made that much. At this, Willy starts to get outraged, so Howard leaves and tells Willy to pull himself together. While Willy is alone, he accidentally turns on the tape recorder, and in fright, calls out to Howard, who rushes back in. Willy tells him that he will go back to Boston, but Howard tells him to take a long rest instead (implying that Willy has been fired). Howard says that Willy can no longer represent the firm and suggests that Willy ask his sons to take care of him, but Willy says he cannot do that. Howard tells Willy to bring his sample cases back to the company when he gets a chance, and then he leaves.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Act One - Part 1
Act One - Part 2
Act One - Part 3
Act One - Part 4
Act Two - Part 1
Act Two - Part 2
Act Two - Part 3
Act Two - Part 4
Act Two - Part 5


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