Death of A Salesman: Novel Summary: Act 2, Scene 2

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This scene takes place in the office of Howard, Willy's boss.  Willy has come to Howard's office, determined to convince his boss to offer him a job in New York.  Yet Howard is preoccupied with a new recording machine that he has purchased and is slow to listen to Willy's plea.  This is just one more indication that Willy has little respect in the business community, despite his own often self-exalted opinion of his ability.  Yet when Howard finally does agree to talk to Willy, he is forced to give the old man bad news.  Howard admits, "Willy. there just is no spot here for you."
When Willy realizes that his request has been turned down, he begins to lose his bearings again and he soon launches into his green slipper fantasy, which eventually forces Howard to kick him out of the office.  Willy explains his green slipper illusion by telling Howard the reason he became a salesman in the first place: he thought that he would die the death of a salesman, namely that he would die after living a life of luxury, having been a famous, loved and respected salesman who didn't even have to leave his hotel room to make his deals.  Willy elaborates on the business world he knew as an eager, young salesman, lamenting to Howard, "There was respect, and comradeship, and gratitude in it.  Today, it's all cut and dried, and there's no chance for bringing friendship to bear-or personality." Here, it's obvious that Willy no longer has a place in the commercial marketplace.  In many ways, Miller indicts society for being too commercial and money-oriented.  Willy soon grows angry, telling Howard, "You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away-a man is not a piece of fruit." Here, Willy feels that Howard (the son of the father who had formerly promised Willy that he would be rewarded for his service to the company) has gone back on his father's word by forgetting the salesman in his golden years, throwing away the peel after eating the orange, so to speak.  Howard ends the meeting by firing Willy.

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