Act 2, Part 3 Notes from Death of a Salesman

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Death of a Salesman Act 2, Part 3

Ben, as he keeps looking at his watch, urges Willy to leave the city and go to Alaska where a fortune is waiting to be made, and Willy's delighted at the prospect for a moment. Linda says she doesn't understand why everybody has to conquer the world. She says that Willy's life is good enough -- he's well liked and his boys loved him, and he is building a relationship with his boss and the firm he works for. Ben responds by saying that if he can't lay his hand on what he's building, then he's not building anything. But Willy, remembering Dave Singleman, believes that he can match Ben's success with his own on the basis of just being liked. He believes that contacts and personality and popularity will make him rich, and the same things will make Biff a success as well. Young Biff and Hap walk in, with Happy carrying Biff's football uniform. Ben leaves that day telling Willy that Alaska could make him rich, and Willy assures Ben that he'll make it rich from Brooklyn.

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Ben and his music fade into the happy music of Young Biff and Hap as Bernard rushes on stage looking for Biff and afraid that the Lomans had left for the game without him. Willy and Linda are getting ready to go to the game, and Willy walks through the wall-line of the kitchen and to the door at the back that leads into the living room, while Bernard and Happy argue over who gets to carry Biff's helmet and shoulder pads. The happy music fades away. Biff is standing in the yard when Willy walks back out through the wall-line of the kitchen to talk to him. Willy is so proud of Biff, and Biff reminds him to watch for the moment when he takes his helmet off so Willy will know the touchdown is for him. Charley comes onto the stage. He jokes about the game and Willy gets mad at him because he isn't taking the biggest day of Biff's life seriously. Willy's temper flares and he wants to fight Charley, but Charley only tells him to grow up and walks away around the left corner of the stage. The music swells to a frenzied pitch, as Willy follows him around the house yelling after him.

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