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

Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman - A detailed critical appreciation of Act I Sequence 9

Extracts from this document...


Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman A detailed critical appreciation of Act I Sequence 9 From: p.37 "You're such a boy!" To: p.40 "He's dying, Biff" Death of a Salesman is "a love story between a man and his son, and in a crazy way between both of them and America". -Arthur Miller Linda is faced with a mother's dilemma: Does she love her husband more than she loves her sons? This is where the tension, which is apparent throughout the sequence, generates itself. However, she does not offer her love to the boys in competition with Willy's. Linda finds many of Willy's qualities to be admirable, whereas this is not true for the boys. She keeps a watchful eye on the family's expenses, therefore takes up the role of businesswoman of the house. She is, unlike Willy, quite in touch with reality: "One day you'll knock on this door and there'll be strange people here--" (p.37). This sequence is the first opportunity that Linda has to speak frankly to the boys about their father. She is worried, anxious, stereotypical and loyal, and seizes this particular moment to plead Willy's case as a father. She copes, but has no one to speak to about her troubles- this is the missing part of the relationship with Biff, Willy and Happy. ...read more.


Indeed, this is what Miller believes too. Biff has protected Linda from some truths about Willy, but it is obvious that this is a family where harsh truths are not spoken about: "We never told the truth for ten minutes in this house!" (p.100). Linda does not hate the boys, but they give her a reason to by not caring about Willy. Even when Linda tries to tell them off, she still slips in "My baby!" (p.40) or "My dear!" (p.39), and in so doing, illustrating her affection towards them. She wants the boys to pay their father proper respect and to settle down, but she doesn't expect anything of Willy. This raises the question of whether she is asking for too much from her boys and/or too little from Willy. Immediately after Linda criticises Willy, he interrupts the conversation. The timing of this interruption is important: It is probably the worst time that Willy could interject because it contradicts what Linda has just said. Linda has just been saying to Biff and Happy how they must pay Willy respect and that he is not the easiest person to get along with, when Willy interjects: "(with a laugh) Hey, hey, Biffo!" (p.38). The comment is important in two ways: Firstly, it represents the voices from the past inside Willy's head, but it also gets Biff angry and frustrated with his father. ...read more.


However, the third mood is quite different to the previous two. The last line: "He's dying, Biff" (p.40) is a shock to the characters and the audience, and establishes a very dramatic change of mood for Biff and Happy, as it is much more serious when dealing with someone's life. The comment really makes Biff and Happy sit up and take notice, as it is no longer simply about a mother rebuking her kids for being insensitive and selfish, it now puts Willy's life in their hands. This comment manages to unite all three characters with a collective concern for Willy. The last words in the play are given to Linda, one of the reasons being because of her realistic and colloquial language. There are no excessive over-the-top emotions and she never resorts to "Oh what a terrible life I've had", even though this may be what she thinks. In this way, Linda is similar to Charlie, because she just gets on with life, despite its plights and chores. It is important to note that Linda has believed everything that Willy has ever told her, so she was disappointed when there were no buyers at his funeral. She has always had immense respect for Willy, so by the end of the play, she sees him as some kind of defeated hero, 'defeated' by the cruelty of the world. Word count: 1,342 ?? ?? ?? ?? Sam Feller 6BM2 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level 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 AS and A Level Arthur Miller essays

  1. Examine the relationship between Willy and his sons in "Death of a Salesman"

    He had a good dream, the only dream a man can have - to come out number one man. He fought it out here, and this is where I'm gonna win it for him." As long as Happy believes this, he is sadly destined to live the same life as

  2. Quotes from All My Sons

    Metaphor Chris is ashamed of it "Did they ship a gun or a truck out of Detroit before they got their price?"p168 Allusion-Realism argument it is too idealistic to expect people to work for nothing "Chris, I did it for you" p158 Keller's attitude is that war profiteering is fine

  1. To What Extent Does Death of a Salesman deal with modern issues such as ...

    In having an affair with the woman, Willy chooses that he prefers to be 'well-liked' than loved, as 'love' with Linda would constitute his fidelity.

  2. Willy's First Flashback (Death of a Salesman)

    The halcyon days of 'personality wins the day' are long gone. Hard work and dexterity have taken over now. Point out the flaws in these sections which will thwart Willy's achievement of success based on the American Dream. � Again the audience are more than aware of the deceit which

  1. An Analysis of the Dramatic Impact of the Restaurant Scene in Death of a ...

    Then, Willy assumes that Biff has betrayed him because of his discovery of his affair with The Women. Whereas, Biff, who called Willy ?a phoney little fake? believes Willy, with his unending ego-stroking lies, betrays him. What interests here, is the relationship between father and son.

  2. Death of a Salesman. 'Explore the relationship between Willy and his sons'

    Throughout literature and drama, the cipher is used repeatedly. For example in the old English 'Mystery Plays', Everyman was a cipher used to represent the common man, "Indeed, playwrights still use situations in their plays (The Goat, Glengarry Glen Ross, Willy Loman, Death of a Salesman) as a cipher with which to examine human frailty, relationships and identity, in

  1. Is Biff the True Hero of Death of a Salesman?

    It is his family who are the ones deeply affected by his fatal flaw and his consequential death. Miller reminds us of the close link to the traditional Greek tragedy where Willy Loman is referred to as a prince by his son Biff: "you've just seen a prince walk by.

  2. How Does Arthur Miller create dramatic tension in A View from the Bridge(TM)?

    Instead of like in most plays where the tension would rebuild to a second climax Arthur Miller continues the tension by starting off with an intimate scene with Catherine and Rodolpho, this is showing Catherine's decision is made up between Rodolpho and Eddie and leaves the audience wondering what Eddie's reaction will be.

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