Act 2 (Loman Home, Past):
Howard exits and Ben enters, bring his valise and umbrella. Willy asks him if he has secured the Alaska deal. The younger version of Linda goes into, and she informs Ben that Willy has a terrific task in New York. She tells him not to go to Alaska. She questions why everyone needs to conquer the world, and tells Willy that he’s well-liked, which Old Guy Wagner guaranteed that Willy would belong to the company at some point. Young Biff goes into with Young Delighted. Willy firmly insists that it is “who you know” that counts, but Ben leaves. Young Bernard gets here, and begs Biff to let him carry his helmet, but Delighted wishes to bring it. Willy prepares to escort them to the national championship. Willy tells Charley that he can not go to Biff’s baseball game since there is no room in the car. Willy is insulted when he believes that Charley ignored the game. Willy prepares to combat Charley.
Miller as soon as again shifts the setting of the play to an earlier date in order to contrast Willy’s present experiences with those of his idealized past. The reappearance of Ben is symbolic of the dreams Willy Loman has compromised for a more safe – and more ordinary – presence. This segment offers some indicator that Linda has, in some respects, restricted her hubby by requiring him to take a more stable course. She claims that not every guy has to conquer the world, possibly presuming that Willy Loman is not a man capable of doing so.
Nevertheless, Miller reemphasizes Willy’s belief in individual connections as the crucial factor in organisation. By this point in the play, Willy’s claim that it is “who you know” that counts has been thoroughly disproved, for Willy was fired by a guy whom he has understood considering that his birth.
Bernard and Charley’s reappearance in this segment foreshadow their later roles in the play. This section restores the controversial relationship between Charley and Willy, who is shocked to believe that Charley may not remain in total awe of Biff’s athletic accomplishments. It likewise restates the way in which Bernard remained in Charley’s shadow. The dynamic amongst the characters has clearly shifted, and Miller’s insertion of a flashback at this point foreshadows a later advancement of the vibrant in between the Lomans, Bernard, and Charley.