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AS and A Level: Arthur Miller

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  • Peer Reviewed essays 3
  1. Is Biff the True Hero of Death of a Salesman?

    Miller states "It is time, I think, that we who are without kings, took up this bright thread of our history and followed it to the only place it can possibly lead in our time--the heart and spirit of the average man" (theliterarylink.com 30.01.12). The tragic hero created for the play is not a king or noble man, but a common man, a lo-man, reflecting the change of time since the tragedies named by Aristotle and Shakespeare. To Willy Loman's family he was a noble man working hard to achieve success for their family name.

    • Word count: 2981
  2. A View from the Bridge. Although Eddie is a good man, how do his weaknesses destroy him?

    I supported you this long I support you a little more." The family's low socio-economical status also illustrates the harsh conditions he endures every day and under such circumstances, we acknowledge that he has sacrificed much to allow Catherine to grow up well. His ambitions for her to become a college girl convey his desire for her to live comfortably, have a better chance in life and become a successful woman. He has dreams that she would work "...in a nice office.

    • Word count: 2873
  3. In the light of critical opinions discuss Millers exploration of the American Dream in Death of A Salesman in relation to the characters of Willy and Biff Loman. Focus upon the ideas of success and failure within the American Dream in relation to Mil

    The American Dream is explored throughout Death of A Salesman. Willy deludes himself into thinking that the American Dream is easy to obtain and will result in success for him. He believes that it will all come to him easily and that he is deserving of it. But realistically, he pins his hopes on the American Dream so much that it is the reason behind his demise. Willy's faith in the American Dream remains strong although his own son confronts him with reality by saying "Will you take that dream and burn it before something happens?" (Page 102 Act 2).

    • Word count: 2606
  4. Compare how Plath and Miller explore the concept of the American Dream in The Bell Jar and Death of a Salesman

    This is represented in the character, Doreen who is successful for just being beautiful, showing the shallowness of society. The American Dream is shown in Miller's 'Death of a Salesman' through characters such as Ben. Ben is the exemplary man with the American Dream; Miller writes that he "walked out into the jungle" and that when he came out he was "rich". This belief that the American Dream can happen to anybody eventually drives his brother Willy to the 'tragic heroism' of his suicide.

    • Word count: 2239
  5. How Does Arthur Miller create dramatic tension in A View from the Bridge(TM)?

    Every so often we see Beatrice approach Eddie away from the other characters and order him to change his views towards Catherine. This conflict between them reverberates tension throughout the whole play. Arthur Miller made Eddie a self self-righteous person and making his attitude constant throughout. This in turn puts him in the wrong side and forces the tension towards him. Catherine and Eddie's relationship starts off as a passionate one. 'Hi, Eddie!...You like it? I fixed it different...ill get you a beer, all right?'. Catherine throughout the play shows immense care for Eddie and is reluctant to break away.

    • Word count: 2096
  6. Act 4 of The Crucible provides a powerfully dramatic conclusion to the play. How does Miller achieve this and how does he make the audience respond to John Proctor?

    Arthur Miller himself was called before the Investigating Committee and was subjected to interrogation about his political views. He was asked to name communists he had spoken with nine years previous in a meeting. Miller honorably did not identify any other names and was deemed to be in contempt of court. Consequently, he received a 30 day jail sentence which was suspended and a fine of 500 dollars. Miller appealed against this successfully. It is evident there are close parallels between Millers own personal experience and that of John Proctor.

    • Word count: 2452
  7. Death of a Salesman. 'Explore the relationship between Willy and his sons'

    During the time "Death of a Salesman" was created, Post-War United States was undergoing a metamorphosis into a new era of prosperity, anti-Communist paranoia, and social and philosophical change. For Miller to criticize the American dream so openly was professional suicide. Indeed Miller was to fall foul of the Senator McCarthy's committee that investigated suspected Communist sympathisers, and was subsequently found guilty meaning that for a short time his personal and professional life was in ruins. In 'Death of a Salesman' Miller presents the audience with a play involving ideas and social criticism.

    • Word count: 2491
  8. Free essay

    "Linda: I don't say he's a great man... He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being... Attention, attention must be finally paid to such a person.

    Firstly, Willy Loman is a common man. We know this because he is an ordinary American, with an unremarkable job. Willy can also be associated with many men, living in America, in the 1940's, because of his financial constraints. For example when Linda is listing the amount of money that they owe for their possessions. "Well on the first there's sixteen dollars on the refrigerator." there is symbolism used to show the pressure that Willy feels, this is the sample cases that he carries at the beginning of the play.

    • Word count: 2486
  9. To what Extent does the Character of Willy Loman conform to the Conventions of a Classical Tragic Hero?

    This skill that Willy has allows him to interact with others and this helps them gain their attentions, Willy also gains respect from this. As Willy is able to talk to people fluently and confidently the audience feel he could do more for himself but he is unaware of this and is only interested in maintaining his pride and the way others see him. The way Arthur Miller has chosen to reflect Willy Loman to the audience of this play shows us the classic conventions of a tragic hero.

    • Word count: 2412
  10. Free essay

    Explain the dramatic significance of Mr Alfieri.

    'You see how uneasily they nod to me?' In his opening line Mr Alfieri tells the audience directly how he is seen by other characters and the reason they are so uneasy is 'because I am a lawyer', he explains. Mr Alfieri on stage is sat in his office and directly addresses the other character however once they have left he sits himself upon his desk and addresses the audience. In the final piece of the play Mr Alfieri is on the street with the other characters although the other characters appear not to see him, it is as if he is looking at it all through a shaded window.

    • Word count: 2146
  11. Discuss the role of Alfieri in Arthur Miller's 'A View From The Bridge'

    During his time as a dockworker, Miller also heard the story of a longshoreman who had become a social pariah after betraying his family and the Sicilian code when he reported his own relatives to the Immigration Authorities because of a relationship he saw forming between one of the immigrants and his niece. 'A View From The Bridge' is a modern day tragedy because it ends with the death of one of the characters and carries throughout the play a sense of inevitability.

    • Word count: 2477
  12. An essay examining Alfieri's role in a

    So we can say that Alfieri is the "View from the Bridge" He is the middle man he knows both sides of the story. Alfieri tells this story backwards, as he has already witnessed the story Miller has told. Alfieri evicts himself from the people, who live in the poverty area by saying in his opening speech this, "They tell me the people in this neighbourhood." If Alfieri wanted to include himself in the neighbourhood he would have used the word, "We," instead of, "the people."

    • Word count: 2404
  13. Explore the importance of religion to the community of Salem

    John Proctor is a prime example of this, he cares a lot about his name in the town, but his morals take over when he admits about breaking one of the ten commandments by sleeping with Abigail. He had to do this to try and stop the lies Abi was telling about his wife, Elizabeth, but this backfired on him when Elizabeth tried to help him by denying what he'd done as she didn't know that he'd confessed. It is only at the very end of the play that Proctor realises what the right thing to do is, the choice is between blackening his name in Salem or being hung.

    • Word count: 2353
  14. The Reverend John Hale embodies the growing awareness of the illegality and immorality of the Salem witch trials.

    Betty is the daughter of Reverend Samuel Parris and is ten years old. People in the village suspect witchcraft for the cause of it and her father is extremely worried about his reputation within the community. This is because he has not been in Salem for long and does not have many friends in the community. Reverend John Hale is very keen on finding a witch because his last witch hunt was a failure. The women turned out to be an extremely troubled person under Hale's examination and the victim of the women's witchery recovered from all symptoms with a few days' rest.

    • Word count: 2253
  15. How Can We Explain The Salem Witchcraft Episode of 1962?

    Many of the settlers had moved to the New World in order to start afresh with a stricter, more religious way of life. They were extremely god fearing, believing in a literal devil and were quick to be engulfed by the mass hysteria that was whipped up due to the suggestion of witchcraft. In investigating this episode, whether or not one believes in witchcraft is a significant factor in trying to explain it, as believing or not believing takes the investigation on two different paths.

    • Word count: 2507
  16. How does Arthur Miller present The character of Reverend Hale in 'The Crucible'.

    Secondly, just after Rebecca Nurse is introduced to us the audience, he says: "When Reverend Hale comes, you will proceed to look for sign of witchcraft." This is saying that Putnam is quite certain witchcraft is about and even if Reverend Hale denies witchcraft in Salem, he still wants them to carry on searching for sight of witchcraft and the devil. As all the characters were arguing Rebecca Nurse exclaims: "Mr. Parris, I think you'd best send Reverend Hale back as soon as he comes."

    • Word count: 2768
  17. To what Extent Can Dramatic Techniques Be Used to Emphasize The Rising Emotions That Occur in Act 1 of The Crucible?

    Abigail then fills the scene. She was caught dancing, (all forms of entertainment were thought impure and were not allowed), in the forest by Parris. This is bad enough, him being the reverend of the town, but also being her uncle makes it much worse. As you would have guessed he is furious with her and cannot believe it. Abigail pleads her innocence of witchcraft, but she still angers him: Abigail: "It were sport, uncle!" Parris: "You call this sport?"

    • Word count: 2215
  18. Death of a Salesman - How effective is the ending? Who do we sympathise with?

    There was no necessity for it. We would've helped him." Of the two brothers Happy still believes in the American dream, and has fallen for its poor existence. He still supports it after seeing what has happened to his father and the life he has lived. This is shown at the very end of the play, " I'm not licked that easily. I'm staying right in this city, and I'm gonna beat this racket!" I think Happy believes that he owes it to his father to follow in his footsteps, so that he has at least one successful son.

    • Word count: 2181
  19. The Historical Background to the Crucible

    Thus, the belief of unnatural activities was not unusual. People commonly used accusations of witchery as a way to harm enemies. This is ironic, as Puritans believed they were 'perfect Catholics'. Petty differences soon led to the loss of lives, and the separation of families, via jail. To understand this, we must remember that the inhabitants of Salem believed in witches and the Devil, and the bible instructed that all witches were to be hanged. The issues that occurred in Salem strongly relate to the McCarthyism 'witch-hunt'. Arthur Miller wrote the play during these events.

    • Word count: 2588
  20. 'Whilst we are appalled by Abigail Williams, we are fascinated by her as well'. Discuss

    Miller quickly builds upon this character as one that is flawed; her limited moral upstanding shown in the initial parts of the play only seem to grow even worse as it is revealed that she has had an affair with Proctor, both considered a ?sin? for the two, and yet Abigail knowingly commits this. Proctor?s presence also shows Abigail to have a questionable character in that she is often emotionally unstable, being extremely quick to have ?[flashes] of anger? at any given point, indicating that much of her future decisions are purely based on the anger residing within her.

    • Word count: 2401
  21. What do we learn of Salem and three of its inhabitants in the opening part of the text? (Act One)

    The land itself is explained as American land which had been taken away from Native Americans, and that Salem itself was formed the purpose of creating a safe haven for the Puritans to inhabit, and at the same time conveniently attempting to convert Native Americans to Puritanism. Those who did not convert and chose to remain outside Salem were regarded as living in a ?virgin forest (which) was the Devil?s last preserve, his home base and the citadel of his final stand?.

    • Word count: 2325
  22. To what extent is Willy Loman betrayed in the play Death of a Salesman?

    Ben had been successful as he had struck lucky whilst travelling in Alaska in search for their lost father, however due to Ben?s ?faulty view of geography? he as well as became lost and ?landed in Africa?. The quote ?William, when I walked into the jungle, I was seventeen, when I walked out I was twenty-one. And by God I was rich?. This quotation shows that at the tender age of twenty one, Ben was able to achieve the American Dream, it further emphasises that Willy is still capable of achieving the Dream and plays a significant part of his

    • Word count: 2065

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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