Death of a Salesman

The plot of the play slides back and forth between the past and the present. What specific incidents or an experience in Willy’s present initiates his flashbacks into the past?

act 2

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The most significant incidents of Willy's past relate to times when his brother Ben wanted him to come to Alaska and work with him. Linda, in her slight fear of Ben, wants Willy to stay home, so that opportunity never happens. Willy seems to dwell on past incidents which show that he might have been more successful than he is now had he taken them. Bernard, who is Charley's son, is often in the flashbacks making Willy think back to what his own boys were like at young ages and how they have now changed in their treatment of him.