The best example of physical action in Death of a Salesman is the scene between Willy and Biff involving the woman. In this scene Willy and the woman are in a hotel room together when a knock is heard. Willy does everything he can to avoid answering the door, but eventually has to. Before he answers the door he orders the woman into the bathroom. When he answers the door Biff is there. To Biffs surprise there was a half-dressed woman in his father hotel room. Willy, in an attempt not to ruin what little respect his son has for him, makes up a lie to cover himself, but the woman blows it.
After the woman leaves Willy tells Biff that she is a buyer, but Biff knows better and Willy begins to break down. At this point I think that Willy knows he has lost the respect of his son, the respect that meant so much to him. I think the loss of respect and the feeling of uselessness eventually leads to his death. There are many examples of psychological action in this play. One of the best examples is the scene between Willy and Howard when Willy loses his job. Being a salesman is all that Willy has ever known. He knew it wasnt the most respectable job, but it put food on the table.
Willy goes in to tell Howard that he does not want to travel anymore. Howard tells him that there are no other positions available for him. Willy offers to take several pay cuts, but Howard will not give him another job. At this point Willy has realized that he just lost everything that his boys respected him for. After this he starts hallucinating about the opportunity that he has to go to Alaska and make money. Because he can no longer make a living and support his children he begins to think about killing himself so that Linda could pay off the house with the money she would get from the life insurance policy.
He believes that they need the money more than they need him. Willy is so passionate about achieving the American dream that in the end it killed him. Willy wanted so much for his family to have the American dream of wealth and success that he killed himself for money. I think that the climax of the play is the funeral. When you realize what Willy has done and that his family is not sad. I think that the two scenes I have discussed are the most influential in the play, the scene about the woman and the scene when he loses his job.
His sons respect and providing for a family are two things made Willy feel important and useful, and these two things were taken from him in these scenes. In the end these very two things lead to his suicide. There were many other factors, but I believe that these were the most influential. Willy did not have much, he did not have money, he did not own a house, and he did not have a respectable job, but at least he had the feeling that he was respected by his sons and needed by his family but that too was taken from him. When he lost respect and his feeling of usefulness he lost his will to live.