Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Summary of Chunk 4

Willy is yelling, "I was right! I was right!" as the present-day Linda comes down and finds him in the kitchen. Willy decides to go for a walk and leaves the house. He continues yelling as he walks down the street, lost in the past. Biff comes downstairs and talks to Linda. He wants to know how long Willy has been acting strangely. Linda accuses of Biff of not being home enough, or at least in contact with Willy. Linda says that Willy is all smiles and perfectly fine when Biff writes. It seems that just thinking about a happy future is all it takes for Willy to be content.

Through Linda's dialogue the reader sees that Willy and Biff have been at odds since the summer after Biff graduated from high school. Biff has no respect for his father anymore, although he used to in high school. Happy comes downstairs and joins the conversation.

Linda accuses Biff and Happy of deserting the family. She tells them that Willy is exhausted. He has worked all his life for his boys, and now his sons have turned their backs. Linda shows the boys that Willy has been trying to kill himself. Willy's car accidents are no accidents, and he has fixed a hose up to the water heater in the cellar to suck gas.

Biff tells Linda that he will try his best to please Willy and make do. Hap and Biff begin arguing about why Biff has always failed in the business world. During this argument Willy walks in the door. Biff and Willy begin arguing. As the tension increases, Hap tries to smooth things over by telling Willy that Biff is going to see Bill Oliver - Biff's previous employer - to see if he'll loan them money to start a sporting goods business. Hap comes up with a fantastical plan to make money and Willy immediately becomes all smiles. Biff is being pushed into something he doesn't want to do, but goes along with it for now just please his father.

Near the end of the scene, they begin fighting again and Willy goes up to bed upset. The boys go up and try to cheer him up.

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