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AS and A Level: Arthur Miller

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

    house for ten minutes". Unlike his father and his younger brother Happy, Biff acknowledges his failure and realises that Willy "had the wrong dreams", he even realises what a "ridiculous lie" is own life had been. The strain of having to live up to his father's inconceivably high standards appear to have been too much for Biff and before Willy dies, we see how he has lost respect for his disturbed father. In his final conversation with his father, he refers to him as 'Willy', it seems that no longer does Biff regard Willy as his father, but just a "fake" whose "phoney dreams" and constant exaggerations are the cause of Biff's fruitless life.

    • Word count: 1483
  2. Discuss the dramatic importance of the role of the narrator Alfieri in the play “A view from the bridge” By Arthur Miller.

    The play has been compared to a Greek tragedy, with Alfieri playing the part of the Greek chorus, but unlike a Greek chorus Alfieri is physically involved in the play and in the characters lives, particularly Eddie Carbone's. Alfieri helps understanding in the play. Part of Alfieri's role in the play is to create dramatic irony so the audience knows more than the characters do. Through this and other methods he builds tension in the play. As the narrator,Alfieri introduces the play and tells the audience a little about what the play is about and what is might be based around.

    • Word count: 933
  3. Consider the Relationship Between the Crucible and the Actual Historical Events On Which It Is Based.

    You named and incriminated other people - guilty or not. If you did not confess you would be likely to lose your job, lose your friends and you would be publicly embarrassed. If you confessed you were effectively destroyed. As in America in the 1950s (their assumption being that communists were out there), in The Crucible the villagers of Salem believed that the devil was out there. The townsfolk really believed that Lucifer was roaming the streets of Salem seeking to destroy the town and seeking to destroy the institution of the church.

    • Word count: 1480
  4. To what extent is ‘Death of a Salesman’ a criticism of the values of modern American society

    This is the main criticism in the play. Willy is not greedy or selfish but doesn't get far. It is only those who are that get anywhere. As the American Dream has grown amongst the workers, Willy has not adjusted to the changes, especially in the selling world. Biff said: "He had all the wrong dreams." His dreams would have been appropriate many years ago, but he hasn't adjusted, as I said, and he still believes that loyalty and length of service should mean more success. Unfortunately in the selling business you need youth and charisma to sell a product. Willy's inspiration is a man called Dave Singleman.

    • Word count: 1315
  5. The Crucible

    Parris is a materialistic and selfish person. He secures his desires in the town by preaching fire and brimstone until the people give in. An example of this is when he preached for twenty weeks until he got golden candlesticks instead of the pewter ones made by Francis Nurse. John Proctor says, "it hurt my prayer" for him to think that when he "look to heaven and see my money glaring at his elbows" because Parris demanded money ever since he became the pastor of Salem. This is a misuse of power and a misuse of his status as a man of God.

    • Word count: 1855
  6. '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
  7. 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
  8. Explore the ways in which Miller uses symbolism to emphasise the tragedy in Death of a Salesman.

    Inherent throughout the play is Miller?s heavy use of symbols to convey meanings such as hope, struggle and self-worth. Significantly, symbolism assists the tragic imagery as a crucial element of Miller?s stagecraft. Miller elaborately constructs the perfect conditions for Willy?s downfall in several key ways including his use of music, the motif of dreams and symbolic props. His first method is the recurring element of music applied through his stage directions. The melancholy ?melody heard, played upon the flute? starting from Act 1 resonates with the atmosphere and is Miller?s structuralism technique of oscillating to and from Willy?s reflection of the past.

    • Word count: 1899
  9. Is it fair to say that Beatrice is a tragic victim in A View from the Bridge?

    Beatrice could be seen as a tragic victim because although it is not directly shown, we are able to see that Beatrice has no children of her own therefore she cares for Catherine as if she were her own child. However, her love for everyone can be seen as a flaw and could show her as a tragic victim because she loves Catherine yet her husband has feelings for Catherine. ?I?m just worried about you, that?s all I?m worried?? (p.6)

    • Word count: 1830
  10. How does Miller force us to judge all the characters in Act 3 of All My Sons?

    ?How does he know?? and ?She doesn?t know, does she?? Furthermore, these adjacency pairs in the form of question and answer between Toe and Kate also assert her power and strength that we begun to see at the end of Act 1 in the stage directions ?sits stiffly in a chair.? She is Joe?s rock and without her he would have no-one to turn to, to answer his questions or to keep him going.

    • Word count: 555
  11. 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
  12. To what extent are symbols used to convey the tragic death of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman

    Throughout the play the repeated symbols include: the car, seeds, the rubber hose, diamonds, Linda?s stockings and finally Alaska. For Willy, the majority of ?Death of a Salesman? takes place within the confined landscape of the Lomans? home. This narrow and increasingly narrowing setting is contrasted with the vastness of Alaska. For the reader the Lomans? home symbolizes restriction, both physical and mental, distant locations symbolize escape, freedom, and the possibility of something better. While Willy insists New York is a land of opportunity and abundant success, his idolization of his brother Ben?s adventures and forays into faraway lands shows that he is really not so convinced.

    • Word count: 1180
  13. Compare the ways in which the authors of "Road" and "A view from the Bridge" present the feel of unemployment

    Once they had paid their fare, the immigrants were left to make their own way. The play is set in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a very poor area in which Alferi describes as 'the slum that faces the bay on the seaward side of Brooklyn Bridge'. However, Road was first published in 1986. This play explores the lives of the people in a deprived, working class area of Lancashire during the government of Margaret Thatcher, a time of high unemployment in the north of England. Despite its explicit nature, this can be argued that it is extremely effective in portraying the desperation of people's lives at this time, as well as containing a great deal of humour.

    • Word count: 1312
  14. In All My Sons, Arthur Miller offers a different perspective on the conventional Aristotle tragic hero with Joe Keller

    Joe?s engines cylinders were used in fighter planes, which his son flew. Due to faulty cylinders, which Joe knew about yet still sent off to the army, men died. This brought his close colleague and friend imprisonment and brought shame to his wife, Kate and his son, Chris. Throughout the tragedy, Joe Keller fits with the conventional Aristotle idea of tragic hero, but Arthur Miller also offers a different perspective. Here Joe Keller will be compared to the classical model of a tragic hero, on how he relates and differs, looking closely at how Arthur Miller specifically conveys him differently.

    • Word count: 777
  15. How Fear Encourages Selfishness in "The Crucible".

    Being orphaned and unmarried, she is near the bottom of the Puritan social ladder, therefore making it very difficult for her to attain any sense of status. When Salem becomes blindfolded with the false presence of the Devil, she is given a chance to gain social status and satisfy her lusty desires. She takes advantage of this by implanting a false accusation that spins a web of lies, entangling tens of innocent civilians, including Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail asserts that ?[Her] name is good in the village? (1.149)

    • Word count: 1686
  16. Character analysis of Reverend Parris in the play The Crucible

    There were also disputes over Samuel Parris' pay and once again, the town proved reluctant to pay their minister his due wages. This came to head in October 1691 in a town meeting where a portion of the town vowed to stop paying his wage. The issue was further antagonized by Parris' perceived arrogance when he purchased gold candlesticks for the meetinghouse and new vessels for the sacraments. In this atmosphere, serious conflict may have been inevitable. The events that led to the Salem witch trials began when his daughter Betty Parris, and her cousin Abigail Williams, accused the family's slave Tituba, and Sarah Good of witchcraft.

    • Word count: 1106
  17. How Does The Character Of Eddie Propel The Plot, Structure, Relationships And Themes Of A View From The Bridge?

    From here on, the main way in which Eddie drives the plot along is by his obsession over Catherine?s protection. He stops at no abnormal behaviour to try and keep his niece close to him and away from leaving his fortification. Consequently, he greatly upsets the latter, who, when enduring firm discouragement from marrying her new found love interest, resorts to crying out, ?I don?t believe it and I wish to hell you?d stop it!? (Act I, page 42.) She begins to increasingly become partial to the idea of leaving the house with Rodolpho, contrary to her uncle?s wishes, which accumulates his emotions and causes him to spiral out of control and lose respect for everyone around him.

    • Word count: 1549
  18. To what extent does the requiem in a Death of a Salesman enhance the tragedy?

    However, Biff?s realisation of his father?s failure and extreme beliefs can be seen to create hope for the future characters. The other characters do discuss the external forces that are to blame for the tragedy, yet they are not as obsessed with the American Dream to the extent that Willy is which shows him as being a minority. Will has spent his life attempting to convince himself that he was successful and well liked. He has idolised the successful salesman Dave Singleman his entire life, and aspires to be like him and admires the greatness of his funeral, ?He died a death of a salesman...

    • Word count: 1447
  19. In the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Willys distorted view of reality affects not only his view of success but also the views of his sons.

    The main cause of this was the expectation that Biff be an extraordinary man and have a fantastic career, however this just isn?t realistic. Biff no longer wants any part of Willy's delusions. Biff realizes neither him or his father is anything special and doesn?t hesitate to tell him: ?I am not a leader of men, Willy, and neither are you. You were never anything but a hard-working drummer who landed in the ash can like the rest of them!? (Act 2)

    • Word count: 636
  20. 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
  21. The Real Salem Witch Trials

    In mid-January 1692, Abigail Williams was twelve years old. Miller increased her age to seventeen in ?The Crucible?, possibly because it was a more appropriate to have an affair, but there has been speculation that it was due to the fact he was having an affair with Marilyn Monroe at the time. Abigail, as in the play, did live with her uncle Reverend Samuel Parris and her nine year old cousin Betty Parris. Their friend Anne Putnam, also aged twelve, was the daughter of two influential townspeople, Thomas and Anne.

    • Word count: 1309
  22. All My Sons Act 1 Essay

    The entire play is set in the Keller house backyard which compliments various moral messages of Miller's play. The backyard is supposed to act as a secluded domain for the Keller family to freely discuss private matters but we are shown how easy it is for other characters to walk into their property and that they could never truly be uninvolved with the rest of the community. The use of unelaborated dialogue and colloquial diction give each character believable and relatable characteristics and the mundane banter the characters have with each other establishes the characters to be ordinary everyday people.

    • Word count: 653
  23. Article Analysis. When Arthur Millers The Crucible was being made into a movie, he decided to write an article called Why I Wrote the Crucible in the New Yorker.

    Arthur Miller utilizes many descriptive words to receive the desired response from his audience. Miller uses diction right out of the gate. In the first paragraph, Miller uses phrases such as ?biting irony?, ?frigid jail?, and ?inevitable as rain?, that all convey a dark and negative tone to the reader. In the context of this article, ?biting irony? is used to describe how Miller feels about his play being made into a movie. ?Biting irony? indicates that Miller is unhappy about the recreation of his play. Irony isn?t always used to communicate a negative tone, but when Miller adds biting to irony, he effectively creates the negative tone he desires.

    • Word count: 826
  24. Examine "Death of Salesman" by Arthur Miller as a challenge to the American Dream

    This 'dream' consists of a genuine and determined belief that in America, all things are possible to all men, regardless of birth or wealth; if you work hard enough you will achieve anything. However, Miller believes that people have been 'ultimately misguided' and Miller's play, Death of a Salesman, is a moving destruction of the whole myth. The tragedy of Willy Loman, says Arthur Miller, is: ?Willy gave his life, or sold it, in order to justify the waste of it?? Willy represents Every low-man in America.

    • Word count: 708
  25. I believe that Chris is one of the most important characters in All My Sons.

    That makes him categorize as a ?round? character, now we will discover why. When Chris is introduced in the play, Miller described him as: ?He is thirty-two; like his father, solidly built, a listener. A man capable of immense affection and loyalty.? That description gave us an idea of what kind of person Chris Keller is or at least seems to be. He demonstrates to be a very correct and respectful man. An example of that is his secret love for Ann.

    • Word count: 606

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