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AS and A Level: Arthur Miller

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  1. 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
  2. Death of a Salesman Discuss the significance of the flashbacks. Why are they included and what do we learn about the characters?

    Throughout the flashbacks we see that Willy most refers to Biff and the times he has had with Biff. We do not know why this is, but it is probably because of the current situation that Biff and his father are going through. Biff and his fathers relationship used to be good because Biff was the well liked one in school and was always succeeding. Due to a occurrence, Biff's personality changed and he lost all of his confidence. He started looking for jobs and ended up working on over twenty jobs, which he did not stick too. He then ended up working on a farm and his dead detested this.

    • Word count: 1299
  3. Death of a Salesman. The effect of Millers presentation of Linda helps to carry off the nature of tragedy, and without her the play would not work.

    However she is much more than a "typical" housewife. Linda is undoubtedly the strongest character in the play, "she has developed an iron repression of her exceptions to Willy's behaviour" this remarkable power reveals, to the reader, her un-yielding strength and determination which never falters throughout the development of the play. Linda is a very headstrong person who plays a critical role in the family dynamics, she knows from the very start of the play that Willy is trying to kill himself and that it was "only the shallowness of the water" that saved him from his first suicide attempt.

    • Word count: 1718
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. This extract from A view from the bridge by Arthur Miller is just after Catherine and Rodolfo are left alone at home, In this scene Eddies worst nightmare is realized when he sees both of them together coming from the bedroom.

    Miller uses the stage directions and dialogues to convey Eddie's unstable state of mind which creates tension and leads to the climax of the conflict. Eddie enters the apartment 'unsteady, drunk' showing that he has been drinking as he takes out the bottles of 'whiskey' which conveys that he is unstable and foreshadows potential for conflict. Tension is built up by his impatience and constant calling for 'Beatrice' which again emphasizes his drunkenness. The audience senses a rise in tension from Eddie's unstable mind and his 'unsteady' movements which makes then worry for Catherine and Rodolfo as 'it is the first time they've been alone'.

    • Word count: 1083
  7. Attention. Attention must be paid! How far do you agree with Lindas view that Willy Loman is a significant tragic figure?

    But at the time this story is taking place in the 1940's and 50's, with the nuclear family and its patriarchal all powerful father very much the norm, someone like Loman would have been seen as a failure, as how could the father fail to provide for his wife and children? His wife however stays devoted to him, and during an argument with Biff and Happy, she protests to her son's accusations with an outburst where she lists reasons why Willy deserves to be held in better judgement.

    • Word count: 1560
  8. 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
  9. Discuss the extent to which you feel Eddie is a suitable tragic hero in A View From the bridge

    The hero may learn something from his mistake but often too late. It has been argued that "the tragic mode is archaic, fit only for the very highly placed, the kings or the kingly". I agree with this view to some extent but believe that the tragic hero can be brought into a modern context effectively. Archaic can be defined as ancient and belonging to a past time period, this may be true for the traditional noble tragic hero. However I think a modern tragic hero could be the equivalent of "noble" in some other way.

    • Word count: 1042
  10. 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?

    For example, he says 'If I'd gone with him to Alaska that time, everything would've been totally different." Willy wanted to live the original concept of the 'American Dream', in which the two visions of living close to nature in the 'great outdoors', and using nothing but what you were born with - your personality - to make your fortune in the role of the salesman, were combined to form the image of the pioneer. Willy however rejected his desires to work outdoors and pursue carpentry, so he could seek wealth in the city, revealing his materialistic and unbalanced interpretation of how to accomplish the 'American Dream'.

    • Word count: 1667
  11. The Crucible

    Elizabeth, on the other hand, is an honest woman who never - until one vital moment - lies. Throughout the play we see a growing strength from within her as she goes through the witch trials. John and Elizabeth's relationship is strained and they are distant from one another during the opening scene of Act II. It is Elizabeth's findings of John's affair with seventeen year old Abigail Williams which has broken down the trust and communication in their marriage. In the opening of this scene, we find John interfering with the food over the fire but compliments Elizabeth, so that he does not hurt her feelings.

    • Word count: 1131
  12. 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
  13. Death Of A Salesman, Willy Loman analysis

    On numerous occasions he questions his deceased brother for ideas on how to succeed. In addition to this, he idolises Dave Singleman, a salesman that he met a long time ago. How there were many people who attended his funeral and how successful he was as a salesman. Willy talks about how he was able to make sales without even leaving his hotel room, who died the noble "death of a salesman" in which the play is named after. Willy covets this. Furthermore, I question whether if this story is firstly fallible and secondly if it was true and he was as successful a salesman as Willy believed.

    • Word count: 1950
  14. 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
  15. The Crucible

    John Proctor appears on the surface to be big, strong and well respected in his community. He is the sort of man that teenagers like Abigail often like but who is envied by other men for the above properties. This is evident most notably when he first enters and the three young girls Mary Warren, Abigail and Mercy Lewis seem to feel threatened by his manliness as Mercy leaves by her own accord and Mary Warren is sent home by John. In my opinion Proctor reflects the author's ideas of what was thought to be an attractive man in the 1950's, when the play was written.

    • Word count: 1362
  16. How does Miller use the character of Alfieri to manipulate the audience? What is his attitude to the events of the play?

    This is one of the purposes Miller gives Alfieri in the play. Miller establishes a relationship between Alfieri and the audience, by having Alfieri speak directly to the audience. As he is the only character who addresses the audience directly, they feel closer to him than to any other character. Through Alfieri, Miller is able to influence what the audience think of certain characters at different points throughout the play. For instance in reference to Eddie, Alfieri says that "He was as good a man as he had to be in a life that was hard and even".

    • Word count: 1091
  17. Death of a Salesman

    Therefore following after a dream brought him no victory - instead he should've leaded in his own dream. Willy's true dreams were to work in a farm, yet he let this thought get stomped on and completely disappear since of all the pressure which was surrounding him. ''Willy lives in our time... in a system of value that tend to be de- value the individual'' [3]. This means that an individual is much less cared than society itself - it is the society which makes an individual.

    • Word count: 1588
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. to hat extent is Death Of A Salesman a criticism of contemporary society

    Death of a Salesman seems to examine the cost of blind faith in the American Dream, through Willy, who has his own skewed dreams. His interpretation of the American Dream is defined by a lifetime composed of fortune and fame; he considers that to be "well liked" is an essential part of a happy and successful life. Brian Parker makes the statement that "Willy's philosophy is the personality cult of Dale Carnegie, the 'win friends and influence people' theory, which exploits human relationships for the purpose of gain."

    • Word count: 1519
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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

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