Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Summary of Chunk 5

It is morning the next day, and the beginning of Act II. Willy is very happy, knowing that his sons are going to see Bill Oliver and become successes. Nothing can ruin this. The boys have left the house, and Willy is preparing to go see his own boss, Howard, to tell him that he does not want to travel anymore and wishes to have a job on the sales floor in New York. As he leaves, Linda tells him that the boys are going to treat him to a big dinner that night at Frank's Chop House.

Willy has a long discussion with Howard, and finally Howard tells Willy that the firm is firing him. Willy is shocked. Howard is the son of the previous owner, who Willy was good friends with. Willy delivers a long monologue about sales, and eventually Howard leaves the office for a few minutes. Ben appears and Willy is transported back to Biff's senior year again. It is the day of the big football game. Biff has been asked to attend three Universities. Willy refuses Ben's business offer once more, and tries to defend his position as a "lowly" salesman. Still immersed in this fantasy, Willy leaves Howard's ranting as he walks down the street to Charlie's office.

At Charlie's office Willy runs into Bernard and they talk for a bit. Willy is almost in tears and asks Bernard what happened to Biff after his senior year. Biff had flunked math and was ready to complete the credit in summer school, but he did not and became a drifter. Bernard tells Willy that after Biff went to go see Willy on a business trip, he came back changed. Willy refuses to talk about what happened on the trip, and soon Bernard is off.

Willy and Charlie talk for a little while. Charlie gives Willy fifty dollars so that he can go home to Linda and pretend that it's his pay. Willy leaves the office almost in tears and we are then taken to Frank's Chop House where the boys are waiting for Willy.