Death of a Salesman Summary and Analysis of II.2

Act II (Wagner’s Office, Present Day):

Willy goes into the workplace of his employer, Howard Wagner, a thirty-six year old man sitting at a typewriter table with a wire-recording maker. Howard plays Willy recordings of Howard’s child and kid. Willy attempts to inform Howard what he desires, but Howard insists on playing a recording of his other half. Willy informs Howard that he would choose not to take a trip any longer, but Howard says Willy is a roadway male. Willy states that he was in the firm when Howard’s dad used to bring him as a kid. Howard does not have an area.

Willy talks about how being a salesperson utilized to be a position that had personality in it and demanded comradeship and regard, but today there is no space for relationship or personality. Willy keeps requesting lower and lower salaries. Howard’s father made pledges to Willy, he sobs, however Howard informs him to pull himself together, and then leaves. Willy leans on the desk and turns on the wire recorder. Willy leaps away with shock and shouts for Howard. Howard returns and fires Willy, telling him that he needs a good, long rest. Howard informs him that this is no time at all for false pride and he ought to count on his sons.


In this segment of the 2nd act, Arthur Miller uses Howard Wagner as a sign of progress and development on the other hand with Willy Loman’s outdated concepts of company tactics. Most of the information in Howard’s office emphasize technological development and novelty, from his well-appointed, modern workplace to the recording device that captivates Howard. This reveals that Howard is more interested in the future than the past, as he overlooks Willy to consider his new device. On the other hand, Willy speaks not of his future with the company but with his history and previous pledges. That Willy is terrified by the recorder is a symbol of Willy’s obsolescence within a contemporary organisation world; he can not handle development. Even his values, as he notes, come from a various time. Willy speaks of a previous time when being a salesperson demanded regard and relationship, a time that has actually plainly passed, if it ever existed at all.

Willy once again falls victim to his concept that character and personal relationships are vital consider the business world. He cites the memory of Howard’s dad bringing Howard as a newborn to the workplace and his own role in assisting to call the boy. While personally appropriate, in regards to business world this truth bears little weight.

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