Installments

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Characters In Death of a Salesman, Act I, pages 11-41, the main characters, as well as most of the important supporting characters are introduced into the story. The play opens with Willy coming home early after a business trip, very tired and irritable. Willy is 63, and has worked very hard as a salesman his whole life in order to provide for his family. Even though Willy has put so much effort into his job, he still hasn’t really made it in life, still struggling to provide for his family. Quickly introduced into the story is Willy’s wife, Linda, who still tries to love Willy, even after so many years of hardship. She may actually be unhappy with their situation, but doesn’t really show it on the outside if she does. Linda tries to comfort Willy as much as possible, every time he comes back from a bad business trip, and it’s clear she has a lot of experience. Of most trouble to Willy is the fact that he is becoming less and less able to accomplish his job. When he returns home, Linda addresses him, asking, “You didn’t smash the car, did you?” As we later find out, Willy had crashed the car before. As a travelling salesman, if Willy can’t drive his car, he can’t make any money, and this disturbs Willy gravely. Despite this, Willy still insists that he drive, even though he has admitted several times he knows that he is incapable of driving the car, and even tells himself that he couldn’t get a job that doesn’t require as much travelling. Even though Linda, in an attempt to comfort Willy, gives him an opportunity to blame it on the car, or his glasses, Willy still prefers not deny he fact he is growing older and more senile. Upstairs, woken up somewhere during Willy’s rant, are his two sons Biff and Happy, aged 34 a... ... middle of paper ... ...y more money than he could earn for the rest of his life, $20,000 of life insurance. The money can also be seen as a seed, a seed for his family’s future. Biff comes up to Willy, and tells him that he’s leaving for good. Willy yells at him, and Biff goes on to explain that all that time while he was out west and Willy and Linda couldn’t contact him, he was really in jail the whole time. Everyone goes upstairs except for Willy, who keeps talking with Ben. Soon Ben is gone too, Willy is alone. Willy gets in his car and speeds away, as his family listens, knowing full well what he just did. In the requiem, a sort of final closure is provided for the story. Linda remarks to the late Willy, “I made the last payment on the house today. Today, dear. And there’ll be nobody home” (139). The family members each take their share of the insurance money and part ways.
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