• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The office scene (pages 59 - 66) is a crucial part of the play as it sees the turning point in Willy's career and encourages the last part of his mental downfall towards destruction and dramatises many of the central concerns that are shown throughout.

Extracts from this document...


The office scene (pages 59 - 66) is a crucial part of the play as it sees the turning point in Willy's career and encourages the last part of his mental downfall towards destruction and dramatises many of the central concerns that are shown throughout. Willy is humiliated during his time in Howard's office and the audience therefore have an increasing amount of sympathy and pathos for Willy. The scene opens with Willy entering Howard's office repeating the word "Pst!". From the very beginning of the scene the audience see Willy as a pathetic character and a failure in business. He shows his inability to show confidence around his boss, possibly because Howard is a successful businessman and this is exactly what Willy cannot achieve. Willy is already contradicting himself as he had previously told Biff to "Walk in very serious", yet he shows an undignified entrance which does not command respect from anyone around. Howard refuses to give Willy instant attention and he repeatedly ignores what Willy is saying which automatically gives Howard higher status. Howard is preoccupied with a newly purchased wire recorder and so is slow to listen to Willy's plea. This wire recorder highlights Willy's isolation from technology in the continually modernising America and could be seen metaphorically alongside the drama of this scene where the communication is one way between Howard and Willy. ...read more.


We see Willy's tone of voice changing as he starts his monologue about Dave Singleman. Willy's voice becomes child-like and we detect his excitement at this point. Willy wanted like Dave to "Die the death of a salesman". Similar to the significance of Willy's surname - "Low-man" we also see the significant surname of Willy's inspiration - Dave "Single-man", a single-minded man who knew what he wanted and achieved that in his lifetime. Willy wanted to die a success after living a life of luxury, after being loved and respected by other salesman, yet the audience see a man who is begging for a rapidly decreasing sum of money. Willy's failure is certainly highlighted at this point as Willy himself contrasts his dream with his reality. Again during this scene we see the inconsistency of Willy's opinions as he yet again contradicts himself after telling Biff "If anything falls off the desk...don't you pick it up. They have office boys for that" and then just a few pages later the stage directions tell us that Howard "looks for his lighter, Willy has picked it up and gives it to him". Willy has reduced himself to the status of an office boy during this short period of time in Howard's office. Willy knows his status but makes it clear by his pitiful entrance into the scene and then the shrinking and erosion of his personality and pride during it. ...read more.


Miller is now showing in unambiguous terms, the worthlessness of Willy to Howard. We see the clash between Howard's ruthless but realistic nature, and Willy's illusions and dreams of success and this causes dramatic tension and conflict visible to the audience. There is a lot of emphasis placed on Howard's corporate chair towards the conclusion of this scene and the lighting changes to highlight the chair as this is a symbol of the business world that Willy never quite fitted into. Willy's mind spends only a very short time in the past during this scene and briefly sees Frank, Howard's father. It is the sound of Howard's son on the wire recorder which brings Willy back to the present and this could represent ironically how Willy never wakes up to the fact that modern technology, younger salesman and the American Dream have taken over from him and eventually kill him. The conclusion of the scene is Howard's line "Pull yourself together, kid, there's people outside". The use of the word "kid" shows Howard patronising Willy still as Howards sees him as nothing but a kid due to his lack of success. This scene shows us the business world at its most ruthless and we see Willy swallowed by a dream that can no longer become a reality for him. Mary Sweeney L6PCL ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Arthur Miller essays

  1. The Significance of a Line From Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

    a chance meeting he had with his uncle outside the Colonial Theatre in Boston, where his All My Sons was having its pre-Broadway preview. Miller described that meeting in this way: "I could see his grim hotel room behind him, the long trip up from New York in his little car, the hopeless hope of the day's business.

  2. Analyse and evaluate Millers choices of form, structure and language to express meaning

    This leads us to feel pity for Willy, abandoned by the people he needed. As they went off to seek their dreams, he stuck by his family, and perhaps missed out on opportunities. Willy - Can't you stay for a few days?

  1. Eddie brings about his own downfall. Discuss this statement with close reference to the ...

    "Pack it up. Go ahead. Get your stuff and get outa here." Arthur Miller shows conflict by using short sentences to create tension and to show Eddie's anger and his threatening voice towards Rodolfo. He shows this when he phones the immigration bureau.

  2. Death of a Salesman By Arthur Miller

    When Biff had failed math, he drove up to Boston to see Willy one day and he caught him with a woman that time. Back in the reality Biff and Happy leave Willy in his day-dreams at the restaurant. When they come back home their mother Linda angrily tries to throw them out of the house.

  1. Death of a Salesman - Write a critical appreciation of the Requiem. To what ...

    Both of the boys feel his death was unnecessary. Happy's feeling that he could have "helped" Willy is just another empty Loman speech, devoid of any real meaning. We see during the course of the play that Happy neglects to give Willy any help whatsoever, he abandons his father in

  2. To what extent does Arthur Miller's character 'Willy Loman' conform to the conventions of ...

    to provide Willy's victorious reply to all not sufficiently impressed with his own modest advancement. By making his fortune in the business world, Biff would prove that Willy had been right in turning down Ben's adventurous challenge to head for Alaska.

  1. The Crucible - character study of Reverend John Hale.

    So, to begin to further his case in witchcraft he confronts Mr. Proctor about his lack of attendance to church and about one of his children not being baptised. Proctor answers both of these questions with his disapproval of greed that Reverend Parris exudes.

  2. How do The Odyssey and The Crucible use the hero in order to explore ...

    They were tried and convicted in an atmosphere of moral absolutism through which Miller alludes to the events which took place in the 1950's before the House of Un-American Activities Committee in Washington. The Crucible can be viewed as allegorical text not for anti-communism, or as a faithful account of

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work