Monday, May 3, 2010

Key Scene Analysis - Death of a Salesman

Now that you have now studied closely a key scene from Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, consider and answer the following question.

How does Arthur Miller use dialogue and stage direction (the words he has written on the page) to both advance the action of the play as well as to further the audience's understanding of its characters?

In answering this question, please pay close attention to the language of the dialogue and refer frequently to the text using direct quotation. Feel free as needed to refer to other scenes in the play.

Structure this essay however you like. It should represent forty minutes of your best focused thinking and ideas.


  1. Death of a Salesman

    In the beginning he does not do much to develop. We learn that Howard has a wife and two children.

    He includes parts by the recorder saying, “The capitol of… is…” showing more about his son, how he can memorize these things.

    As soon as Howard asks what happened and Willy says, “Well…” Howard immediately assumes that Willy has crashed his car which would mean that he isn’t the best driver or has crashed his car many times before

    We also know that Willy had been working there for a long time but this made it even more clear when Willy says, “Your Father… asked me what I thought of the name Howard” this tells us that he has been working there for upwards of 30 years.

    On the first page if it didn’t have what the recorder had recorded then it wouldn’t have made the first part of the conversation and it would not have been able to move along with the plot.

    Howard seems to be very impatient with Willy. He keeps interrupting him when Willy is clearly struggling to tell him what he wants to say. It seems also that Howard wasn’t grateful for what Willy had done for his company. It even seems like he didn’t even try to get Willy a place in town, even though he said he would.

    Howard also says, “I’ve been meaning to tell you this for time now” which obviously means he was planning on firing him for some time.

  2. She shows Howard's personality by using only fullstops at the end of his sentences, to show he is not very interested in what Willy is going to say. Also, writing 'Pst!Pst!' shows that Qill is a bit weird, because he doesn't have to whisper at Howard to get his attention, and there is no reason for this because there is no one trying to hear what he is saying. Also Howard interrupts Willy alot, for example 'It certainly is a-' or 'That really is-'. Also, Howard shows he is at a higher status than Willy by calling him kid, although Willy is older. It is shown that Willy gets angry easly by the actions he does, for example 'With increasing anger' and 'Angrily' and 'Banging his hand on the desk'. Willy changes his mind a lot, as he asks for 65 dollars, then 50 dollars, and finally 45 dollars, which is a 20 dollar change in total which is almost half of his last offer, so he can really change his mind a lot.

    To advance the play, he uses stage directions to tell them what to to so they do not just stand there because that would be boring, and he also uses their names after eachother so they know what to say after eachother and they will not get confused this way. Also, the way the writer uses interruption is also a good way to advance the play because you know that someone has to answer to the thing that the person before them said by interrupting them, and you know that the person who got interrupted wants to finish his sentence or statement, so he will answer back automatically.

  3. At the beginning, there isn’t much tension between Howard and Willy, more like excitement and curiosity. The curiosity comes in when Willy notices the wire recorder, which Howard (as a stage direction) was playing around with. When Willy asks ‘What’s that, Howard?’ Howard goes on explaining how amazing it is, and how he uses it. Then, whenever Willy tries to speak, Howard continuously cuts him off going on and on about other things. Having Howard do this creates tension between the two of the characters, as Willy starts to get even more agitated and impatient little by little. He keeps trying to get Howards attention, while at the same time being interested in some things that Howard talks about, but continues to get cut off. “That’s a wonderful machine. Can we—“ which is when Howard cuts him off with “I tell you, Willy, I’m gonna…” and continues to talk about what an amazing machine the wire recorder is.

    The language that Arthur Miller made Howard use also shows what little respect Howard had for Willy, what with continuously calling him “Kid” when Willy was much older than him. Also, when Willy starts explaining how he’d “rather not travel anymore” he seems to get more and more impatient with Howard, and vice versa. Willy starts to cut Howard off, as he wants to be heard, and in doing so he continues to get more and more impatient; increasing both the tension, and Willy’s anger.

    The stage directions come into play, as well, as Willy gets more and more angry. At first, it says; “Willy Desperately: Just let me tell you a story, Howard –“ which means he was desperate to get his words out any way possible. But Howard continues to cut him off, which progresses to “Willy angrily:..” says something to show how impatient he’s become and says so much that he doesn’t give Howard the opportunity to interrupt him.

    Willy, with his words, and how he starts off with talking about how he’d “try to locate” his father and “maybe settle in the North with the old man” to talking about how his buyers “don’t know” him anymore. In doing this, he mixes the emotions of anger and desperation, and so comes off as violent and aggressive on stage. And then there’s Howard who “moves away to the right” which shows how he’s both uncomfortable and annoyed with Willy, perhaps a bit on edge as he’d moved away from the man talking to him.

    Then, as Willy becomes more desperate, Howard loses his patience and leaves the room, wanting Willy to calm down. But when he re-enters, as Arthur Miller made Willy do something as foolish as turn on the wire-recorder, he is full of anger and decides to fire Willy.
    Also, to make the play progress, Arthur Miller uses periods ‘…’ to smoothly go from one sentence, one character, to the other.

    --Tatiana T.

  4. the authur starts off with Willy saying "pst!pst!" This shows that Willy is comfortable with Howard and that he knows him or else he would have started off with "Hello, How are you?" and maybe introduce himslef.

    Howard is asked about his new device where we get to know that he has children and a wife. Whilst Howard is playing some narration Willy tries to ask him a question but Howard just ignores him and shits him up. This could mean that Howard feels superior towards Willy which he is as he is his Boss.

    Willy tells Howard that he moght get one even though he has money problems. Willy plays cool and when Howard asks him if he has a radio in the car he just says "Well yeah, but who ever thinks of turning it on?" I find this strange and believe that Willy is embarrased to admit that he might not have a radio in his car so he lies.

    Willy finally gets a chance to ask him a question and says "I've come to the decision that I'd rather not travel anymore'Howard does not like this and tries to talk himslef out of it by saying "Well I couldn't think of anything for you, Willy" Willy is put under pressure as Howard is backing and he is so desperate that he brings up Howards dad and naming Howard, he says "Your father came to em..."

    It all escalates to Willy getting bery frustrated and starts shouting at Howard. Howard tells him "Stop by and drop off the samples" which means that Howard wants Willy to give him anything that Willy had that had to do with his Business. So Howard fired him.

    Kimberly Merten

  5. Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

    In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller uses quite a bit of dialogue and stage directions in the scene were Willy Loman enters Howard Wagner’s office, since there is a good chunk of stage directions before the scene starts so we get a good understanding of who Howard is and what he is fiddling with, “Howard Wagner, thirty six, wheels on a small…” and this greatly helps one understand the beginning.

    The dialogue that follows seems to show that Willy and Howard are good pals and not just business partners, then more stage directions appear and these help move the story along as the wire recorder tells us Howard has a daughter and a son who are 7 an 5, and plus the wire recorder adds a bit more action to what Howard and Willy are doing.

    The way Willy tries to say something but almost immediately gets cut off by Howard in his angry tone “wait a minute! The next is my wife” helps us understand Howard’s personality and characteristics a bit better, but then again not so much on Willy’s. As the scene goes on the actions of the characters become more and more as “he draws a chair in from the wing” shows that Willy needs a long talk with Howard thus taking a chair, the stage directions start to appear more and more and help the scene move on as most of the scene would be sitting, “He looks for his lighter. \illy has picked it up and gives it to him, Pause” shows that there are indeed other things happening rather than just talking. “Increasing anger,” “desperately,” an “barely interested” are great stage directions as they give characters meaning.

    The scene started off with Willy trying to ask for a different job and better pay but as the scene goes on we see that Willy gets sidetracked and does these great big monologues that show how long he has worked for Howard’s father and Howard, but Howard grows impatient and he goes on and he knows Willy needs a good long rest and decides to fire him, thus showing his care for Willy as he is an old man.


  6. Essay: Death of a Salesman

    What is happening is that Willy goes to Howard for a job, and Howard had just gotten a wire recorder. The reason that this scene has its length is because every time Willy is trying to ask Howard a question, Howard would immediately interrupt and either talk about his wire recorder, his family or any other topic. An example of this is the following dialogue:
    Willy: That’s a wonderful machine, can we…
    Howard: I tell you Willy, I’m going to take my (line continues on and on).

    Also, both Willy and Howard are often moving on from different topics in the beginning until Howard asks: Say, aren’t you suppose to be in Boston? (Willy travelled as a job).

    Another thing is as the scene moves along; Howard never seems to accept Willy into the business as there seems to be no single solitary spot for him. But, Willy does not want to accept no as the answer, and he is tired of his old job since he says: … between the two of us y’know, I’m just a little tired. (This also indicates he is an ageing man).

    Also, in the action, Howard gets very impatient with Willy because Willy is always remembering and forgetting and he keeps on going on about the past. Howard is not interested in anything he said, so therefore he gets impatient and annoyed at Willy.

    Willy seems like the ageing and very frustrated type of man. He is ageing because he quit his old job and says that he is tired (physically). He is frustrated because he seems to argue a lot and shout as he also says: I averaged 170 dollars a week, Howard!! He seemed to shout in that dialogue only because Howard doubted that he averaged that amount of money a week.

    Howard seems to be a very well-off business man with good wages. It indicates he is well-off because right in the beginning of the scene, he goes on about his wire recorder and says “It is the most fascinating relaxation”. This means it is very new and recent that it was made, and he must have been well-off to be able to afford it.

    Also, he is a business man because he says “… we’re a road business.” He also seems to have a very important part in the business because he always has people to talk to, who want job applications and things such as that. Also what indicates that he works in a business is that at one point, he also says to Willy “… there is no single, solitary spot for you.” He must have an important part to be saying whether there is a spot for him or not. He also has an important part in his job because he seems to be working in a private office of his own.

    By Kalean 9A

  7. How does Arthur Miller use dialogue and stage direction (the words he has written on the page) to both advances the action of the play as well as to further the audience's understanding of its characters?

    Arthur Miller uses dialogue and stage direction very openly and smart. As the story continues Arthur Miller used quotation marks for when the wire recorder was speaking and brackets for the actions.

    The story from the audience’s point of view is actually easy to understand thanks to the stage directions and also how and what the characters answer to each other. It is easy to read and understand which is good for the audience’s as they are the ones in need to understand what the story is about in order to like or dislike the play.

    As the story continues the author uses speeches and long conversations to prolong the understanding and mystery of the continuation of the story. It is highly important for this as it brings more images and thoughts to what could be happening next.

    The language of this story and play are normal English as well as very descriptive and informative. The characters express their feelings as well as they bring out actions to us and make it very understandable.

    This play is written very well and in a very interesting way. It uses many speeches as I mentioned before which create great images and thoughts.

    By Christina Lomakina

  8. Arthur Miller uses dialogue to advance the action of the plaqy bu using quite a bit of shouting and anger. He makes Howard refer to Willy as ‘kid’ which shows he is being disrespectful to Willy and looks down on him. Willy shouts quite a bit at Howard and frequently has flashbacks. By making Willy stumble on his words quite a bit and frequently change his mind Miller shows that Willy has reached an age in his life where he doesn’t really know what’s going on sometimes and gets confused about what is happening in the present and what had happened in the past.
    Towards the end of the scene Miller makes Howard out to be the bad guy in the scene as he takes no sympathy towards Willy or Willy’s situation. Howard is also out as the bad guy at the beginning of the scene as he distracts Willy from talking by forcing him to listen to the wire recording, even though Howard knows that Willy doesn’t really care about the new machine. The way Howard says “oh sure , they’re only a hundred and a half” shows that Howard knows that Willy can’t afford one and he is making fun of him.
    Miller uses words and actions to show that Howard knows he’s in charge and doesn’t really want to listen to Willy’s stories about Dave Singleman. Howard does ‘listen’ but you can tell from the stage directions and the body language of the character that he isn’t really interested in what Willy is trying to tell him. Willy doesn’t really know what he is doing throughout the scene but tries to keep it together. Towards the middle of the scene Willy starts to get aggravated with Howard and brings up Howard’s father. Howard’s character shows no reaction to Willy bringing up his father which shows he doesn’t care what Willy is even saying.

  9. Arthur Miller uses quite a bit of stage direction in this scene. He puts in exageration sometimes when Howard holds up five fingers to show his son’s age which shows us he seems to be a very proud man. He uses alot of emotion especially in Willy’s lines example ‘ with increasing anger’, ‘despertatly’ and ‘desperation’. Also willy seems to move around a lot in the scene which gives us the impression he is really nervous and even though his boss is younger then him we still get the idea that Howard is far more supperior and the stage directions certainly show this, example : ‘Barley Interested’, ‘moving away to the right’, ‘Howard has not looked at him’ and ‘ starting to go off.’ So the way Arthur Miller uses the stage directions shows us that Willy is very nervous and moves about quite a lot and Howard is very proud and gives us an idea of the relationship between both Willy and Howard. Howards keeps refering to Willy as ‘Kid’ and when Howard speaks he is quite rude in a way when he keeps interupting Willy and when he keeps mentioning he has people to see, where as Willy seems ot be very polite, compliments Howard and listens to evreything he says and finds common ground with him, we see this when Willy says he doesnt know what goes on on the radio so hes going to buy a wire recorder and Howard replies with ‘havnt you got one in the car?’ and Willy says ‘ well yeah, but whoever thinks of turning it on ?’ which seems quite unlikely. Willy also seems to refer to the past alot and mostly including Howards fater and when Howard was a baby. Arthur Miller also uses actions that empashize the lines like ‘He stands up’, ‘Banging his hands on the desk’ and ‘grasping Howards arm’. Arthur Miller uses alot of stage directions to keep the play alive, to make it feel real and not boring, he includes little details like “He looks for his lighter”, “He aproaches the chair.”, “rolling up the cord” all of this makes us curious to see what the charecters are doing and what it will lead to net which makes us watch the pay and watch every little detail, and all of this makes us understand the play very well.

  10. Key Scene Analysis

    Arthur Miller uses a lot of dialogue and Stage directions in the scene.

    At the start, Miller uses blocking and certain dialogue to make Howard seem not interested in what Willy wants to talk to him about. Instead, he focuses on his new wire recorder. When Willy performs his big speech, Miller uses stage directions to make sure that Howard doesn’t care what Willy has to say. An example would be when Howard says ‘Don’t say’ but it is mentioned before that Howard needs to be ‘Barely interested’. This affects how he talks to Willy. After the speech there are stage directions that Howard needs to be ‘moving away to the right’. There is a sense of disrespect for Willy.

    In the scene, Willy’s anger builds up. After his speech, Willy begins to fight back Howard’s ignorance. A very good example of this is ‘banging his hand on the desk: I averaged $170 a week in the year of 1928!’ Here Willy bangs his hand on the desk to get Howard’s attention. He also shouts out to emphasise his point. During this part of the play, it is Willy that’s interrupting Howard constantly. Whereas at the beginning, Howard is the one interrupting Willy.

    During the end of the scene, a lot of questions are asked to further build tension. An example would be when Howard says ‘Where are your sons? Why don’t your sons give you a hand?’

    When Howard leaves the room, Willy talks to Howard’s late father. Here there are many stage directions to give an image of what Miller wants Willy to do.

    Both characters have certain dialogue and stage directions. This gives us more of an image of what the actors are supposed to do.

  11. Key Scene Analysis

    Arthur Miller tends to use throught his play, simple and understandable features for the dialogue. It show that he really wants to express to the viewers how swift and smoothly the dialogue is supposed to sound, just like a normal everyday conversation. This advances the action of the play by making the viewers mroe easily understand how close to reality the theme of this play is.

    Focusing on the dialogue, Miller uses plenty of phrases that people use in "everyday life" like 'pst! pst!', 'sh, for god's sake!'. Throughtout the dialogue he indicates how a character will interrupt another character as well persuading the character to listen to itself e.g. 'It certainly is a-','But just listen for a minute'. Miller makes his dialogue sound real to the viewer because in real life we all speak at once, interrupt other speakers, not talking line after perfect line. Miller as well cleverly expresses the characters personality by doing this. Like Willy's character. Everyone interrupting throughout the play shows how he is impatient, easily annoyed, and people aren't much of a fan of him, meaning that they usually ignore him.

    Miller uses a lot of stage direction in his plays comparing to shakespeare's plays where there are hardly any. These both advance the action of the play emphasizing the characters climax in his speech like when Willy stands up towards the end of his long speech struggling to tell Howard how important being a salesman is for him. It show drama in the situation like when the stage directions tell the actro about pauses, desperation in voice as well as impatience. Miller really works on the stage direction for the set as well, like when they are in the house there are many moments in the script where Miller has written down how the actor should sit down/stand up, bang on a desk, walk away. This has its pros and cons, one of the pros being that it is good how he is very specific so that the viewers understand what is trying to be told. They see emphasism, drama and tragedy through the characters. But one of the cons is that actors/actresses cannot experiment as much like with staging, face expressions, going their own way. But Miller's plays are written like this giving friendly hints and ideas how to act these scenes out. I particuarly think it is productive and good.

  12. Arthur Miller uses some stage directions that move further the action of the story. He also tells the way characters should say lines e.g. “angrily”, “desperation is on him now”, “impatiently”. Arthur miller uses some stage directions, and I think it is good because stage direction let the actors stay focused when they are not saying anything, like not just staying there listening, but doing something. The way characters say lines help the audience keep focused with the mood of the story, which changes throughout the story.
    We can understand what Howard and Willy are in the beginning, and at the end of the scene. Howard in the beginning seems to be like an ignorant happy person. Ignorant because he admires the wire recorder, and because when Willy asks “Oh. Can we talk a minute?” Howard continues to go on about the recorder “Record things…with it”. He seems happy because he is so proud about his daughter that he even winks, and about his son because he is “holding up five fingers”, he is happy and proud and therefore wants to share his happiness with Willy. We can say that they are in a good relationship because they don’t speak formally; it is more of a casual, slang way “Geez”, “kid”…
    Howard is again ignorant when he says “Don’t say.” And Willy is starting to be less friendly when he is speaking about his “big year”. Then Willy realizes how he was speaking to his boss and calms down “pressing his hands to his eyes: I gotta get myself some coffee. I’ll get some coffee…”. So in general I can say that Willy is a bit too emotional, and Howard is an egoistic.
    The action is also seen when first Howard is trying to go offstage and when Willy goes and then Howard wants to go offstage again.

  13. Death of a Salesman
    Arthur Miller uses stage direction such as “light slowly fades on Linda as it rises on Howard>” this sort of direction allows the story to moves quickly and smoothly. He uses short snappy lines in the beginning of the scene, by doing so he gave an effect of there being some conversation before the characters got to the real point.
    In the first two pages of the story the characters talk about a very irrelevant topic, which is the “wire recorder”. This topic is introduced when Willy asks “What’s that, Howard?” Howard answers by saying, “Didn’t you ever see one of these?” In talking about the wire recorder you gets a sense of Howard being a well-off, family man. We get to know that he has a daughter and a son.
    In the next few pages Willy and Howard get into a more relevant topic. They start by talking about, why Willy wasn’t in Boston. In this part Arthur Miller uses a combination of one liner and questions. All the questions create a sense of up roaring panic and when the next question is asked the mood shifts, into a more formal tone. Willy starts to beg which gives you a sense of trouble, “I never asked a favor of any man.”
    Howard seems uninterested. Arthur Miller creates this mood by giving specific stage direction for Howard, “He looks of his lighter:” Willy notices that Howard doesn’t seem to care and Miller creates an anger shift for Willy by using stage direction, “with increasing anger.” Then follows a monologue were Willy babbles on about why he got into selling.
    When Willy finally concludes his monologue Howard seems to be even more frustrated with Willy and is starting to make it apparent that Willy would best leave. Arthur Miller shows this by breaking off lines “kid, I can’t take blood from a stone, I_”. Howard leaves and Willy cools down and starts talking to himself. This gives you a sense of Willy being crazy.
    In the next page Willy is fired. Arthur Miller does this by using one liner and direct stage direction, ‘hard keeping himself under control.”
    In this scene Arthur Miller uses various tools to create shifts in mood and tone.

    Valentina Spiteri

  14. Death of a Salesman.

    Arthur Miller used the style and dialogue in the "Death of a Salesman" In the way that everybody can understand it. He used normal words in the script and the way he wrote it was easy, simple style like in everyday life. For example, he starts with "Pst!Pst!" and Howard- "Hello,Willy,come in" it’s easy way to start conversation. Characters always answer on each other questions "What's that Howard?" and answer is "Wire recorder". After that I like the way how Arthur Miller explains everything in details that everyone can understand it. I mean he could finish talking about wire recorder in a first few lines but he explains what it is and what it can do "I bought it for dictation, but you can do anything with it" Also Howard shows what he recorded "Listen to what I picked up" it makes the scene more alive. And then the author put stage directions to make it clearer, to show audience what he really meant and create action/movement on the stage so actors won’t stay on one place. “He flicks the switch”, “snapping the machine off” author is very specific with the stage directions “He draws a chair in from the wing”, “moving away, to the right” Also he describes what is going on not only with people but with objects too “the machine brakes off suddenly” If characters interrupt each other’s lines it’s always for a reason and it always feels like it suppose to be it that place it just goes naturally Willy- “It certainly is a-“ Howard- “sh! For god sake!” I like how author compare things like “ a man is not a piece of fruit” He clearly shows characters of Willy and Howard we can see that Willy is inpatient because he was always interrupting Howards lines, shouting, raising up his voice. Howard was patient one and nice to Willy. Howard respect Willy you can clearly see it in the dialogue. However it didn’t seem like they were good friends.


  15. Arthur Miller uses dialogue and stage direction in a unique way to both progress the story, and give us a better understanding of the characters. He makes ‘Willy’ get progressivly angered further on in the scene, and he starts in a rather feeble mood, when he ends up at the point where he is shouting at ‘Howard’ later on in the scene (“Howard: What happened? What’re you doing here?” “Willy: well...”
    “Howard: You didn’t crack up again, did you?” “Willy: Oh no.No...”). Also, Willy’s dialogue is unusual at times, sometimes he makes references that don’t make sense, making his character seemingly tired-out, and maybe a little crazy. (“Willy: You can’t eat the orange and throw the peel away-a man is not a piece of fruit!”).

    Howard is presumed to be a very typical corporate boss, and he seems to care who represents him, and where they are. He is fascinated by the new ‘Wire Recorder’ he has, and so he seems to take a liking to new technology. He seems to believe that Willy is tired-out, and needs to retire, but also wants him to work as a travelling salesman (“Howard: I don’t want you to represent us. I’ve been meaning to tell you for a long time now.”).

    Willy seems to imagine/flashback ti moments in his life relevant to what is happening in the present .
    (“Willy: Frank, Frank don’t you remember what you told me that time? How you pu your hand on my shoulder, and Frank...”). Frank is Willy’s old boss, and Howard’s father, and Willy is seeing him in the room while Howard is not in the room. He also seems to feel passionatly about what he says, and how it ‘must’ be right all of the time. (“Willy: I averaged a hundred and seventy dollars a week in the year of 1928!”). He also bangs on the table to get his point across,which means he is a stubborn character.

    Arthur Miller makes the characters seem to be very realistic too, and all unique, given a certain personality and dialogue style, and he uses this to his advantage, making the story get progressivly worse for the characters.

    Andrew Graham

  16. The Author shows Howard's personality by the way he talks (good grammar) and how he deals with the situation in the office. I think it proves that he was well brought up. I don’t think he wants to sack Willy, but I think he thought that he had no choice but to do at that moment. But Howard seems to interrupt Willy a lot, I believe this is because Howard knows he’s better than Willy, so he thinks he can just order Willy around and do what Willy says ‘...take the fruit and throw the skin peel away...’ but this could also because he is very happy and proud of his new machine.

    The Author Also Shows Willy’s personality by the way his anger builds up and how he demands things off Howard. At first, when he walks in saying “pst, pst!” I think this shows that he is rather shy, and that an appointment wasn’t made with Howard. The whole situation was more unexpected, and not arranged. When Willy begs for his job, it shows that he has no money, and he can’t even afford to pay his insurance. When he decides to kill himself, he also dose this for money for his family. This also shows that there whole family is very poor and not too important in anybody’s life.

    I don’t think he added many stage directions, even though he added a few to make it slightly more interesting. Apart from Willy banging his hands on the table and raising his voice, I don’t think there’s much more acting than that. Its basically two men sitting at a table and just having a one on one conversation. Howard gets up a few times but that’s about it. This is the boring side of the story...

    toby cook.

  17. Arthur Milleer's Death of a Salesman is a very dramatic play with a lot of action and feelings. To move the story along, he writes the dialogues and stage directions always to a certain goal. In this scene, the goals of the whole dialogue between howard and willy, might be to set off an argument between the two of them, and to get Willy fired. And also to let Willy tell the story about the salesman Dave Singleman. These three things are important for the story because later, Howard doesn't come to Willz's funeral (probably because of the argument or because he had a bad feeling because he fired him). And Willy needs money desparatly for the life insurance. And we understand what Willy expected his funeral to be like. He compared himself to the salesman Dave Singleman and to his funeral. That's why we need those important points in the scene, so that the story can move on and tell us about its meaning. The long monologue about the salesman (starting with "Oh, yeah, my father lived..." and ending with "They don't know me anymore.", this long monologue helps us to understand Willy. It tells us a lot about his life expectations, worries and wishes.

    The way the author writes this script, we also understand quickly that Willy is a bit 'crazy'. He gets angry easily and started screaming (the author showed that with the words: "with increasing anger" "desperation is on him now" or "banging his hand on the desk") Those words before the person start talking, shows us how angry, desperate willy is. Later, when howard leaves for a minute, Willy starts talking to himself. ("Pull myself together! What the...") and then he even starts talking to a person that is already dead ("Frank, Frank, don't you remember what...") It shows that Willy is kind of crazy. Also in the other scenes, Willy speaks to other persons that are not there (like Ben).
    Willy always talks a lot about the past: "Your father came to me the day you were born..." "When I was a boy - eighteen, nineteen - ..." " 1928 I had a big year...". In the other scenes he even has flashbacks that seem to be as real as the normal scenes. All this information about Willy's past makes us understand him more and also realize that he still kind of lives in his past.
    The way the author describes Howard, we understand him, too. He is very interested in his business, but barely interested in Willy and his stories ad past. In the beginning, he pays more attention to his wire recorder that to Willy ("Sh for God's sake" "Wait a minute! The next is my wife") And when Willy tells his long story, all Howard replied was "That's just the thing, Willy." And the author even wrote 'barely interested' when Howard spoke.
    Later we find out that Howard was going to fire Willy for a long time already and that shows us that Howard doesn't want Willy in his business.
    we also realize that Willy loves his sons. He wants that everyone thinks that he has the best sons in the world. He says things like "They're working on a very bog deal" and after Howard says "You've got two great sons, havn't you?" Willy says immediatly "Oh no questin, no question..."

  18. Evita

    Death of a Salesman
    The writer shows that Howard is the boss because he has the power to silence Willy “sh, for God’s sake!” Once Willy gets the chance to talk he states that he doesn’t want to “travel” anymore, Howard asks why and Willy goes on to explain.

    Willy also tells us the reason he entered the career of selling in his huge monalogue and he explains the greatness of being a salesman.

    In the beginning Willy greets Howard in an informal way “Pst, Pst” which shows Willy knows Howard quite well. Willy says “I was with this firm when your father used to carry you in here in his arms” which shows Willy is a lot older than Howard.

    Willy shows that he is extremely desperate which means he is running out of ways to convince Howard about letting him work in town. “Desperation is on him”, “now banging his hand on the table” suggests Willy has become violent and Howard wouldn’t like to be there at that particular moment.

    Howard goes and Willy begins regretting his actions “My God, I was yelling at him! How could I”. Howard is extremely close to losing it “hard, keeping himself under control”.

    Howard tries to break the news down to Willy “I don’t want you to represent us”. But Willy just gets even angrier and tries to compromise once more but fails.