Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller
Charley Timeline and Summary
- Charley hears Willy talking aloud to himself late at night and comes into the Lomans’ kitchen. He wants to make sure everything is OK.
- While chatting with his neighbor, Charley offends Willy twice, first in offering him a job and secondly in telling him to leave Biff alone.
- Charley and Willy start to play cards, but the old salesman drifts in and out of flashbacks, leaving Charley irritated and confused.
- Charley storms out.
- A younger Charley enters the kitchen as a character in one of Willy’s flashbacks. Charley warns Willy that he’s got to stop Biff and Happy from stealing or they’ll get in trouble. Willy, true to his usual form, gets mad about Charley’s advice and insults his neighbor’s manliness.
- The following morning, in another one of Willy’s flashbacks, Charley enters and teases Willy about his enthusiasm for high school football. Willy tells Charley to shut up—the game is a very serious matter.
- Back in reality, Willy waits for Charley outside his office after getting fired from his job.
- Once Charley shows up, he tells Willy (in a non-bragging sort of way) that Bernard is arguing a case before the Supreme Court.
- Charley offers Willy fifty dollars to borrow. Willy is appreciative, but asks for more.
- Charley asks Willy to sit down and again offers him a job that will pay fifty dollars a week and require no travel. Willy insists he has a good job, not telling Charley that he was fired only hours before.
- Charley interprets Willy’s pride as a personal insult. The men shout back and forth until Willy breaks down and Charley gives him some more money.
- A few days later, Charley is at the funeral with the Loman family. He defends Willy by saying to Biff that nobody should blame Willy for his dreams.