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AS and A Level: Arthur Miller

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  • Peer Reviewed essays 3
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  1. The theme of jeaslousy in 'A View from the Bridge'

    When we are first introduced to Catherine she is waving from the window to Eddie and his friend. She is wearing new clothes and has her hair done in a different style. Eddie lectures her on her short skirt and the increasing male attention that she has been receiving; "You are walkin'wavy! I don't like the looks they're givin' you in the candy store. And with them new high heels ... the heads are turnin' like windmills." At first it seems that he is simply concerned for his niece's wellbeing. Also, feeling jealous could be considered completely normal for him as he has always been the most important man in her life and if she finds a husband, he no longer will be.

    • Word count: 922
  2. Commentary on the Climax of Death of a Salesman

    and saying "He put his arm around you". This tells the audience how desperate Willy has got, trying to hold onto his last morsel of hope which would make his life worth living. When Biff makes it clear to Willy that his chances with Bill Oliver are non-existent and that he is leaving for good, Willy goes into a fit of rage, insisting that it is Biffs' spiting of him which has led to his son's downfall: "Willy - Spite, spite is the word of your undoing!

    • Word count: 954
  3. Without the stage directions, the tragedy of Death of a Salesman could not be realised. To what extent do you agree?

    My first example comes at the beginning of ACT 1. The script begins, as you would imagine, with stage directions, key to starting off a play so all of the actors know where to be placed. But Death of a Salesman is different, it has a 'page and a half' of stage directions, all in full detail which allows the first scene to gather an audience that automatically understands where, who, and what they are watching. This also gathers emphasis towards the tragic happenings of the play which is overall, the plot.

    • Word count: 929
  4. Death of a Salesman - Requiem

    Miller is conveying the fact that Willy has always lied about his life. He exaggerated to his family to 'show off' however, this did not work in his favour; all this achieved was polluting his son's minds with false importance and futile dreams. "He had all the wrong dreams. All, all, wrong." Here Biff may be referring to the American Dream of which Willy longed for. The audience can see that Biff can see that Willy was chasing an impossible dream, and could even say he has wasted his life trying to achieve this dream of his.

    • Word count: 938
  5. The Relationship between father and son in 'All my Sons'

    Firstly, Chris's statement shows sign of naivety on his part, the major reason for Chris's utterances is the fact that he thought Joe Keller was better than other men. Chris's views can easily be compared to a typical child viewing his father as a hero, who can do no wrong. We can tell that Chris admires his father; this is acquired from evidence ranging from stage direction to dialogue. "[With Admiration]: Joe McGutts" Chris's admiration for Joe blinds his judgement when it comes to matters relating to the situation his father was regarding the law.

    • Word count: 581
  6. Which character in All My Sons(TM) suffers the most?

    Once he has lost this he no longer has reason to live. Larry's suffering also prompts him to commit suicide. His suffering is guilt at what his father has done, which torments him to the point where he "can't bear to live any more". Larry's guilt and suffering, however, lasts a relatively short amount of time. He hears about what his father has done the day before he kills himself (he refers to the date when the newspapers were flown in as "yesterday" in his suicide letter to Ann).

    • Word count: 956
  7. Evaluate the role of Alfieri in A View from the Bridge(TM)

    "I could see every step coming, step after step." Because he knows what has happened to Eddie, he nuances the terrible events are coming. This creates a dramatic interest on the audience and makes them involved until the end of the play. Also, he sets the scene and controls the structure of the play maintaining the play ongoing. When the light is on Alfieri, audience realizes that one of the scenes is over and another starts. As the play continues without any break, this helps to keep the audience in suspense and maintain the tension throughout the play.

    • Word count: 970
  8. Arthur Miller has been praised for his realistic dialogue. How realistic do you think All My Sons(TM) is?

    One way in which 'All My Sons' can be argued to be realistic, is the opening of the play. The audience see a normal family, displaying friendly banter between one another, for example; 'Mother: well, get it out of the pail. That's my potatoes. [Chris bursts out laughing- goes up into ally.] Keller: [laughing] I thought it was garbage. Mother: Will you do me a favour Joe? Don't be helpful.' This playful argument between them displays a certain fondness that would be expected from an ordinary content and happy family and thus supporting the claim that Miller often writes a realist dialogue for his plays.

    • Word count: 880
  9. How is mother essential to the development of the plot?

    This suggests that Kate is the link in the family that cannot be broken. If she falls apart, so does the family. During the play's first few minutes, Keller says "I'm just waiting for her to see it" which shows that he is already anticipating the outcome. His short and confident words show his certainty about the outcome. On the other hand, it could also be said that Keller has been desensitised to Kate's reactions to things related to Larry. Mother also interrupts long tensions between characters and changes the subject abruptly in order to avoid a conflict.

    • Word count: 562
  10. Is Linda a good Wife? and How do parents ruin their children's life?, Death of a Salesman

    One way of explaining why is Linda a loyal wife is talking about how she supports her husband. Linda does that supporting her husband in doing what he thinks is success for his family. He persecutes to have success doing what society thinks best in life having a good job, earning a lot of money, have a lovely family and also attempts to make his sons, Biff and Happy, into successful people. In this case, Linda tries to make his husband feel good and support him of getting all he persecutes. On the other hand, Linda could be more realistic disagreeing her husband in some aspects and not giving him always the reason.

    • Word count: 745
  11. How Did it All Begin: The Salem Witch Trials

    The girls at first named three people as the witches; Sarah Good, a beggar, Sarah Osburn, an elderly women and Tituba, the Parris family Slave. This story I have told you was definitely not a fairy-tale, it was a complete nightmare for the whole village of Salem. This started one of the most controversial and horrific convictions and killings of the innocent in the history of the United States. So what would have caused these girls to act in this manner?

    • Word count: 495
  12. The Flaws of the Salem Witch Trials

    The Puritans could only explain this as the supernatural. After much prodding, the three girls confessed to the women that were causing the behavior: Sarah Good, Sarah Osburn, and the Indian slave, Tituba. By confessing she was a witch, Tituba created a great fear among the Puritans. They embarked upon a mission to find all the witches in the town and its surrounding area. In the trials, according to National Geographic, over 160 people were accused of being witches; 25 of whom were either executed or died in prison ("Epilogue" Internet).

    • Word count: 689
  13. What are the dramatic effects of flashbacks in the play 'Death of a Salesman' by Arthur Miller?

    Each flashback is somehow related the present. Very often, the contents of the flashback offer essential background knowledge for understanding why the present-day problems in the Loman family are occurring. For example, when Willy is thinking about Biff and Biff's problems, Willy is transported to the summer of Biff's senior year. The events that took place in the past expose the reader to the situations that have led up to the present-day boiling point in the Loman household.

    • Word count: 525
  14. The main characters in the play "All My Sons" learn many lessons about responsibility and its different meanings.Joe Keller commits a wide range of irresponsible actions

    That's only for you, Chris, the whole shootin' match is for you!" page 16. Joe doesn't face the consequences of his acts all the way through the play. He overlooks the fact that he is responsible for those deaths and lets the judge decide who was guilty for the crime. The one who in the end was blamed for it was Steve, Annie's father that in reality received the order from Joe. Joe tries ignoring the fact that he was the one who allowed those parts to be shipped and that he was the one to be blamed for the death of those pilots.

    • Word count: 801
  15. Explain the importance of Alfieri's role in 'A View from the Bridge'

    He then goes on to say how in this area lawyers are hated as they represent the law; "A lawyer means the law" this is beginning to show the audience that this play may not be set in the most lawful of places. He tells of how the people in this area, mainly originate from Sicily, "in Sicily, where their fathers came from", and how in Sicily, the law of the land is not respected, "the law has not been a friendly idea since the Greeks were beaten".

    • Word count: 632
  16. How effective is the first scene in Act Two in furthering our understanding and developing our knowledge of the relationship between Willy and Linda?

    She speaks carefully "a lot of people think he's lost his -balance" and she has a quiet manner. She treads cautiously around Willy, taking care not to raise his temper and continuously presents a cheerful, hopeful appearance around him. Linda knows that her family are deluded but she continues to let them have their fantasies because she thinks she is doing the most loving thing for her family. Linda knows that Willy has been trying to commit suicide, but does not intervene because she does not want to embarrass him. Willy Loman is the salesman around who the play is constructed.

    • Word count: 613
  17. In Arthur Miller's play The Crucible who is to blame for the hysteria and the subsequent death of innocent people?

    She went into the woods with the other girls, danced and sang songs. Abigail say's, "We did dance.", and Parris says, "I heard a screeching and gibberish coming from her mouth. Tituba also made the girls drink chicken blood. When Tituba was talking to Parris, she say's. "No, No, chicken blood. I gave them chicken blood. In addition, she confesses herself to witchcraft, and she also tells Parris who she saw with the devil. Tituba say's, "I tell him I don't desire to work for him, sir.", she also say's, "And I look and there was Goody Good, and Goody Osburn.

    • Word count: 518
  18. A View from the Bridge - Mr. Alfieri's role.

    Alfieri the lawyer presents a calm, intelligent manner. Arthur Miller uses non-colloquial language with no hint of an accent. Alfieri also speaks with many metaphors and a greater perception of his environment than other characters: "I will never forget how dark the room became once he looked upon me... his eyes were like tunnels." Through his choice of dialogue and stage directions Arthur Miller presents a picture of Alfieri as a man of an intelligent upbringing "And now we are quite civilised, quite American."

    • Word count: 752
  19. The Reverend John Hale embodies the growing awareness of the illegality and immorality of the Salem witch trials.

    If you opposed the McCarthy investigations you were accused of being a communist. However In the Crucible Reverend John Hale is considered to be, and considers himself, an expert on witchcraft. He is initially summoned to determine whether the devil is in Salem and enthusiastically participates in the court proceeding. As Hale enters the play, he walks in with a lot of books heavy books, "books of knowledge". He is shown to be a man who takes pride of his work and he came to Salem just to find a witch, he will not be told what to do - very much, he is the authority which the people of Salem are looking to.

    • Word count: 827
  20. Death of a salesman - Why did Willy commit suicide? What did his suicide represent?

    Happy denies all the accusations but Biff admits his mother's judgements and degrades his own status by calling himself the 'scum of the earth.' Biff wants to see his father and 'erupt a conversation' before he leaves but Linda tries desperately to prevent a confrontation which I feel she does as she knows deep down how close he is to death and this would kill him. Biff hears Willy outside, he is frantically planting seeds. When the audience see him outside he is talking to Ben, we can see from the outset this is a flashback and shows his deterioration in to madness.

    • Word count: 840
  21. What are the most important aspects of Linda's role and character?

    Throughout "Death of a Salesman" Linda serves as Willy's foundation, support and also as his reality-check. She is never seen out of the house, except at Willy's funeral, for he would be lost without her. Out of the main figures in the story, she is the quietest and rarely gives long speeches. Willy shows that he is aware of her noble character when, at the beginning of the play, he says, "You're my foundation and my support, Linda," This is an important part of Linda's character for without this support, Willy would be helpless.

    • Word count: 588
  22. A View fro the Bridge - Examine Alfieri's role within the play. What functions does he perform?

    As David Thacker, a Director said, Alfieri is the "mechanism by which the play unfolds." A View From The Bridge involves the audience and their emotions. Arthur Miller has used various methods to keep these emotions controlled. He has used calm scenes between those of high tension and emotion, but the main method is the chorus figure. The audience listen to Alfieri, for many reasons. They respect his opinion because he is a Lawyer, but they also like his character and can connect with his position in the play.

    • Word count: 860
  23. Schindlers list.

    which the gentleman pins to the lapel of his elegant dinner jacket. He steps back to consider his reflection in the mirror. He likes what he sees: Oskar Schindler - salesman from Zwittau - looking almost reputable in his one nice suit. Even in this awful room. (extract from script) This shows schindler as a man more concerned with how he appears then how he lives. He shows that he can make him self seem quite wealthy even though judging by his surroundings he is not.; In the next scene he is in a crowded night-club in Poland he scans the room looking for opportunities.

    • Word count: 568
  24. In Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge", the character of Alfieri can be described as the 'hidden leading role'.

    Like a bridge, Alfieri connects with both shores. Like a bridge, Alfieri leans on the solid foundations of both cultures. But also like a bridge, Alfieri is elevated above, and therefore watches more often than he interferes. Hence the title "A View from the Bridge". The whole play is Alfieri's perception of the events that took place. It is almost a secondary source - that is, a collection of primary sources with his personal interpretation mixed in at relevant moments - but it isn't a complete secondary source, because there are significant times during the play when Alfieri himself is involved.

    • Word count: 704
  25. How does the Requiem relate to the themes and issues explained in the play as a whole?

    and his last words are ones of defiance: 'I'm gonna show you and everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vein... this is where I'm gonna win it for him' This seems rather absurd to the reader as it is clear now that the American Dream for the Loman family is just that- a dream. The spectacular failure of his father and the collapse of the family show that the dogmatic pursuit of success is fruitless and even dangerous.

    • Word count: 842

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • To What Extent Does Death of a Salesman deal with modern issues such as materialism, consumerism, procrastination and alienation, in Act 1 of the play?

    "Alienation is the issue perhaps dealt with the most as it is the end result of the other issues combined and the one which has the largest part in the death of the main character, however Miller's play treats the issues as living off each other and as all counting towards the tragic fate that is the conclusion of the events of the play."

  • There is too little to admire in Eddie Carbone for him to be seen as a tragic hero. Discuss this view.

    "In conclusion, Eddie may not be 'purely good, but himself purely' expressing that albeit subject to an array of flaws, Eddie is human and a man whose actions are rooted to his morals and values, which are by far the most dominating reasons for how one can see him as a 'tragic hero'. Eddie remains the unconventional protagonist of Arthur Miller, in that Eddie possesses the classical Aristotelian characteristics of a tragic hero but he is not someone of royalty or great power; he is a 'common man' who has nothing but his family and his morals. Some may view Eddie as a man who fails to 'settle for half', but what marks his tale as special; what places him among the admirable tragic heroes such as Othello or King Lear, is his being 'wholly known'."

  • Discuss the role of Alfieri in Arthur Miller's 'A View From The Bridge'

    "In conclusion, there is no doubt that Alfieri holds a vital role within the play. He is the key to maintaining the audience's understanding of the drama and ensuring that we are aware of the changing dynamics and situations which evolve throughout the performance. He helps to develop our awareness of what the effect of these events are. It is clear also that Miller has used Alfieri quite intentionally as a way through which to express some of his views, his main ambition being to prove to people that the death of a low-born character is equally as tragic as the death of a high-born one. He clearly accomplishes this in 'A View From The Bridge'. Alfieri is not only used to enhance the audience's understanding of the play but also to create a structure, distinguishing between the two acts. Effectively Alfieri is the view from the bridge; he sits and watches the events unfold, watching helplessly as Eddie walks closer and closer to the other side, knowing what the tragic outcome will be, yet remaining powerless to prevent it."

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