Death of a Salesman Summary and Analysis of II.6

Act 2 (Hotel Room, Past):

Willy follows the Lady as he buttons his shirt. Someone knocks on the door, but Willy says he is not expecting any person. The Woman claims that Willy destroyed her, which whenever he comes to the office she will make sure that he goes right through to the buyers. The knocking continues, and Willy informs the Woman to stay in the bathroom while he opens the door. It is Biff, who informs Willy that he flunked math. Biff pleads Willy to speak to Mr. Birnbaum, his teacher, to persuade him to pass Biff.

Biff hears the female laugh, and she gets in from the restroom. Willy informs Biff that the female is staying in the next space, which is being painted, so he let her take a shower in his room. Willy tosses the female out, as she claims Willy promised to purchase her a pair of stockings. Willy attempts to discuss that the female is a buyer, however Biff begins to weep. Willy admits that he had a relationship with the female, but declares that it indicates nothing to him, which he was lonely.

Analysis:

When again returning to the Loman household’s past, Miller lastly provides a complete explanation for Biff’s refusal to take a summer season school course, the crucial event that determined his chain of failures. It is Willy’s extramarital relations that prompted the change in Biff, as he learned that his father was having an affair with the lady in Boston. Yet the revelation of this factor for Biff’s bitterness is not the only example in this segment of how Willy has actually thoughtlessly ruined the lives of those around him. Willy has actually destroyed the reputation of the Female, but can use nothing to her in return. Despite the pledges that he has actually made to her, he rejects and discards her. This parallels Willy’s earlier persistence that Linda should not mend stockings. Stockings function as a symbol of what Willy can offer and as a step of his success.

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