Arthur Miller, the author of the book, has little moments of tension, but a lot of them. This creates an even bigger feeling of tension at the end of the acts. It starts off with Willy telling Linda that he nearly crashed the car. Willy describes the near car crash, All of a sudden Im off the road. Willy is losing his concentration, his no longer able to go on long distances for his job. At this point we know in due course Willy is going to lose his job. We can see that he no longer is able to cope with his job mentally or physically.
Willy has an argument with Biff; this causes him to go back to the past in a moment of tension, because of Biff. In the past Biff was accused of stealing. Biff wont own up. Well I borrowed it from the locker room Biff is in denial- he doesnt realise he has done anything wrong. Willy doesnt tell him off so he still does it. Due to the fact that no one helped Biff overcome his denial in his adulthood he couldnt be successful. He continues to steal other peoples things like Bill Olivers fountain pen.
Willy and Linda argue about the change of cheese. I dont want a change! I want Swiss cheese. Why am I always been contradicted? Willy wants everything to stay the same. If everything is the same as it was before then Willy is able to persuade himself into believing he is still successful and his sons have their whole life ahead of them to be successful. Willys flaw is that he cant accept change he always wants to live in the past. Howard, Willys boss, is the exact opposite and he accepts the wireless recorder with open arms. The wireless recorder is also a statues symbol when he is showing it to Willy its like he is showing him how powerful and wealthy he is.
Arthur Miller takes us to the past where there is thick tension. Willy is lying about the amount of money he made. Willy stutters, this shows his uncomfortable about what has happened this makes him lie about it. Well I-I did about a hundred and eighty gross in providence. Willy wants his family to be proud of him. If Willy is getting a lot of money his philosophy is right. On the other hand this scene gives us an in sight into Willys inner character. It shows he has low self-esteem and he doesnt face up to the truth.
In the present Willy continues to lie about his money and takes money from Charley and pretends he earned it. Willy imagines hes talking to his dead brother Ben. Ben is successful and hasnt played a big role in Willys up bringing or adult life. Willy tells Ben what he remembers from his father as a way to bond with Ben. All I remember is a man with long bread? Willy grew up without any father figure. This makes him insecure about his role as a father to his two sons.
Linda tells her sons Willy is trying to kill himself. This is like the eruption of a volcano after it was bubbling for so long; And sure enough on the bottom of the heater there is a new little nipple on the gas pipe. From this scene it gives us an insight into what might happen in the future, that Willy commits suicide. Willy is still trying to kill himself but Linda does not want to get herself out of the supportive role as housewife. Linda is in denial about the truth. Nearly the whole family is in denial and living in the past. All of a sudden at the end of act one Arthur Miller takes all the tension away; but this is way for him to build it up again like one building a house. Willy all of a sudden thinks that Biff and Happy will be very successful. Because you got greatness in you Biff. Biff is planning to go into business selling sporting goods with Happy. Hes going to ask Bill Oliver for $10,000.