• The memory fades. Willy laments to himself and Happy that he did not go to Alaska with his brother, Ben, who acquired a fortune at the age of twenty-one upon discovering an African diamond mine.
  • Charley, having heard the shouts, visits to check on Willy. They play cards.  Charley, concerned about Willy, offers him a job, but Willy is insulted by the offer.
  • He asks Charley if he saw the ceiling he put in his living room, but he becomes surly when Charley expresses interest, insisting that Charley’s lack of skill with tools proves his lack of masculinity.
  • Ben appears on the stage in a semi-daydream. He cuts a dignified, utterly confident figure. Willy tells Charley that Ben’s wife wrote from Africa to tell them Ben had died.
  • He alternates between conversing with Charley and his dead brother.
  • Willy gets angry when Charley wins a hand, so Charley takes his cards and leaves. He is disturbed that Willy is so disoriented that he talks to a dead brother as if he were present.
  • Willy immerses himself in the memory of a visit from his brother. Ben and Willy’s father abandoned the family when Willy was three or four years old and Ben was seventeen.
  • Ben left home to look for their father in Alaska but never found him.
  • At Willy’s request, Ben tells young Biff and Happy about their grandfather.
  • Among an assortment of other jobs, Willy and Ben’s father made flutes and sold them as a traveling salesman before following a gold rush to Alaska.
  • Ben proceeds to wrestle the young Biff to the ground in a demonstration of unbridled machismo, wielding his umbrella threateningly over Biff’s eye.
  • Willy begs Ben to stay longer, but Ben
    hurries to catch his train.


  • keels: to capsize or overturn; to fall as in a faint
    (p. 41)
  • laconic: using few words; expressing much in few words; concise (p. 41)
  • trepidation: tremulous fear, alarm, or agitation; perturbation (p. 41)
  • ignorant: lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned; uninformed; unaware (p. 42)
  • audacity: boldness or daring, esp. with confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional thought, or other restrictions (p. 52)
  • imbue: to inspire, as with feelings, opinions (p. 52)
author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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