Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Summary of Chunk 3

Willy is ranting in the kitchen, and Hap comes downstairs to quiet him down. Willy's mind returns to the present-day. Willy talks of his failure to make the trip to New England. He starts talking about his brother, Ben, now dead. Ben is a mysterious, almost god-like figure, whom Willy idolizes. Ben became rich mining diamonds in the jungles of Africa. Ben had asked Willy to come along, but Willy declined.

Willy begins to accuse Hap that he is too free with his money, his women, and his car. Charlie, the next door neighbor, comes over to see what's wrong. They sit down and play cards, while Hap goes upstairs. During the course of the game, Willy is cheating, and making fun of Charlie. Charlie, who owns a sales firm, offers Willy a job. Willy declines, and the reader gets the sense this conversation has taken place many times. They talk about Biff and how he wants to go back to Texas. Willy ends up insulting Charlie and begins to talk of his brother Ben. Willy begins to slip into another flashback and soon, Charlie is out the door and the scene is back to Biff's senior year in high school on the day Ben visited the family before leaving on a business trip.

They talk about their father, a man who deserted his family. He sold wooden flutes, and for some reason Willy idolizes his father. Willy believes his father was a rich and successful man. Ben challenges Biff to a fight, and Biff ends up on the ground.

Willy tries to show of the prowess of his sons by asking them to go steal some sand from a construction site to rebuild the front stoop. Ben tells them the simple story of how he became successful, and then is gone. The scene switches back to present-day.

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