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AS and A Level: Arthur Miller

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  • Peer Reviewed essays 3
  1. Joe Keller is a tragic hero

    To this end, it is submitted as a central proposition in this paper that Miller's father/son conflict provides the underlying thread linking the themes throughout the play and as such, operates as the heart of the tragedy. All My Sons depicts the socio-cultural backdrop of the United States in the aftermath of the Second World War, which is imperative to understanding the relationship between central protagonists Joe and Chris Keller. Through this father and son relationship, the play underlines the ethical and moral issues through the conflict between realist Joe and idealist Chris.

    • Word count: 3342
  2. Quotes from All My Sons

    to Mother and she has a fit about it" p100 Shows Kate is mentally unstable, has not accepted that Larry is dead and is protected by Joe and Chris. Adds to the tension of the play as we realise she might not be able to hold it together "Your brother's alive, darling, because if he's dead, your father killed him...God does not let a son be killed by his father" p156 Dramatic irony Kate reveals her supposition and her desperation to keep Larry alive in her mind as her argument is not a good one "(Mother smashes him across the face)"p155 Onomatopoeia-Shows she is capable of violence "It takes a certain talent-for lying.

    • Word count: 5688
  3. Exploring the importance of religion to the community of Salem

    That version of the Bible was authorised in 1611 and was used by Protestants for 350 years. This language can be seen when Giles Corey comments about his feelings by saying "It discomforts me" whereas normally you would say, "It makes me uncomfortable". The language that is used gives an archaic feeling to what is happening although the events are set only 400 years ago. I think that shows how the strictly religious Puritan people have kept the language used by their forefathers to carry on the old religious and theocratic views. It also shows how much respect the people have for their religion to have kept the language used hundreds of years previously although all around them other languages were progressing.

    • Word count: 3565
  4. Character Analysis - Willy Loman

    When talking about Biff, Willy once again contradicts himself by saying in one line "Biff is a lazy bum!" and in a few lines down "There's one thing about Biff- he's not lazy." This again indicates that he is not completely in control of his mind and is unsure of what he wants and believes in. this also shows that he sometimes gets caught up in his dreams as he describes Biff as the perfect son, which he quite obviously is not from his previous, more honest description.

    • Word count: 4449
  5. How does Arthur Miller show that Salem society has the capacity for what started with just 'dancin' to end with the deaths of innocent people?

    It was this kind of reaction that quickly spread through the community once the witchcraft trials began. Many people in the community also feared their loss of reputation, position or power. This may have lead to tensions or bickering between members of the society. An audience will notice that throughout the play that the amount of land owned is used to justify position or power; the more land a person owned, the more respect the citizens had for that person.

    • Word count: 3105
  6. An Analysis of the Dramatic Impact of the Restaurant Scene in Death of a Salesman - Death of a Salesman was first performed in 1947 and was seen to be a powerful and moving piece of drama. I will now be going through the appeal and the impact of the pla

    Essentially, Biff?s discovery of Willy?s affair drains him of all the faith he had in Willy. Willy sees Biff as an underachiever, and a person that could rise to the top, but Biff on the other hand sees himself trapped in his father?s unrealistic ambitions. Biff?s general identity crisis is a major aspect in the drama. In order to find it, he must expose his father?s delusions. Happy Loman is seen as Willy?s incarnation but with all his worst aspects. He is a difficult character to emphasize. He is a one-dimensional and emotionless character in the play.

    • Word count: 4549
  7. Explore Millers presentation of Proctor in The Crucible. How far do you agree with Proctors analysis of himself?

    Her age has been raised to seventeen, to make it more convenient for the plot of the play. The Crucible is also a commentary on ?McCarthyism?, the intense anti-communist suspicion in the United States of America in a period that lasted roughly from the late 1940?s to the late 1950?s. It was the name given to a movement led by Senator Joseph McCarthy and his House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). This movement involved the hunting down and exposing of people suspected of having communist sympathies or connections.

    • Word count: 3186
  8. The Crucible Revision Notes

    And now you bid me tear the light out of my eyes? I will not, I cannot! You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet! Explanation for Quotation 1 >> 1. Past affair between Abi and John Proctor 2. For Proctor, we quickly realize, their relationship belongs to the past?while he may still be attracted to her, he is desperately trying to put the incident behind him. 3. Abigail-has no such sense of closure- she begs him to come back to her, her anger overflows, and we see the roots of what becomes her targeted, destructive romp through Salem.

    • Word count: 3979

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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