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GCSE: Arthur Miller
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Discuss the techniques that Arthur Miller uses to create dramatic tension in Acts 1&2 of "All My Sons"?
American regular back yard, (this is done so the audience can relate and empathise with the characters and there are a lot more things in the play a lot of the audience can also relate to) its the family back garden which is an open space is half private yet shared with their neighbours "the back yard of the Keller house in the outskirts of an American town" This creates a very ordinary sense of a families back garden, however there is an undercurrent of unease as "the stage is hedged from right to left by tall, closely planted poplars which lend the yard a secluded atmosphere"(P.3)
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Having released the extremely successful Death of a Salesman in 1949, Miller worked alongside Kazan, the director of Death of a Salesman, to write The Hook, based on the story of a longshoreman - Pete Panto - who was killed for standing up against the oppressive bosses of the docks. However, The Hook was never put into the theatres of America due to the interference of the FBI and US Government who force Miller to either change his script or abandon the play.
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'A View from the Bridge'. Explore how Miller creates dramatic tension at the end of act one. Comment on this scenes importance to the play overall.
Beatrice describes how "three flights his head was bouncin' like a coconut" after his brothers and father threw him out the house and on to the street. Before the play even starts, we can tell that Miller will aim to sustain a tense atmosphere throughout the play from the way Alfieri says: "... and watched it run its bloody course." The end of this act centres on Eddie Carbone and his family (Beatrice and Catherine) who are joined by Rodolpho and Marco (illegal immigrants), sitting together after a meal.
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The possession of lists pertaining to possible offenders is a particular link, and Miller fashioned The Crucible around both the events of his time and the Salem witch trials. Miller wrote the play for modern audiences and while John Proctor's path is similar to the one defined by Aristotle, there are a number of differences. John Proctor is described as blunt and honest: "He had a sharp and biting way with hypocrites," He has a rebellious spirit which leads him to be impulsive and rash on occasions.
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John Proctor says to himself What is John Proctor? I am no saint; for me it is fraud. I am not that man. Explore Millers Presentation of Proctor in The Crucible. How far do you agree with Proctors analysis of himself?
This gives the impression that he is a dominant and respected man. He also comes across as quite guilty for some reason and seems aware of his mistakes: 'He is a sinner, a sinner not only against the moral fashion of the time but against his own decent conduct.' This shows that John Proctor has a strong sense of morals and he knows when he's done something wrong. At the beginning of the play, we also discover that John Proctor has had a sexual relationship with Abigail, his servant at the time.
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Willy Loman is in many ways foolish and objectionable, and yet he still commands our sympathy and even our respect. How far do you share this view of Willy Loman? In your response, you should consider how an actor might interpret the role of Willy.
Willy Loman can in many ways appear foolish and objectionable. Willy Loman contradicts himself in many ways. He has a very aggressive attitude towards his family, especially towards his wife Linda. It is as if they are a soundboard for Willy's problems and frustrations. Although he displays this behaviour towards the other characters, he shows deep compassion towards his family. We see other examples of this aspect of his character. He sees himself living the "American Dream", by exaggerating to everyone of how well he can "sell" his products. The irony of his job is that we never find out what he actually sells.
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It died down in the late 1950's but inter twines throughout the plot of The Crucible and uses real scenarios from history. The title of the story sums up the conclusion of John Proctors life on a whole. A crucible is a pot used to burn impure objects, as they come out clean and pure once heated. This is a metaphor for the whole village of Salem as after the event they see the error of there ways and act like puritans again.
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Eddie, Protagonist of the play, is presented as being a stereotypical Hero. "I promised your Mother on her deathbed. I'm responsible for you." A side of Eddie being heroic as he brings up Catherine as her Mother has passed away. The audience look up to Eddie as being a role model as he is seen to be a generally caring person gaining the reader's respect. "You ain't all the girls." Eddie's speech when he is replying to Catherine as she talks about how her clothes are suitable. It shows us how Eddie is looking out for her which is a hero aspect but we also see a side of him that he is being too over protective and perverted which can seem to be quite disturbing.
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Discuss the change or lack of change undergone by the main characters in Arthur Miller's - The Crucible
Proctor, a farmer, goes from a local, well respected man to a man accused of being in contact with the Devil. Abigail transforms from sweet and beautiful to malicious and evil. Hale on the other hand is bought into the play as a witchcraft 'expert', he ends up struggling with this particular case and so changes into a frail, old and weak man. Putnam is much like Proctor and his story throughout the play is much the same and ultimately ends in death.
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A View from the Bridge By Arthur Miller What is the role of Alfieri in portraying the fate of Eddie Carbone?
A tragic hero must be the protagonist, be noble and have a tragic flaw. He will bring about his own downfall trough an error in judgement or weakness in the character. The tragic hero can affect the whole community through his actions. The tragic hero in this play is Eddie and as already mentioned he is a noble person. He is a very strong character and was known as a wealthy person by others and was much respected in his community, but he was not strong enough to battle death.
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The old and new worlds are codified in the immigrant-son Alfieri. He also frames the play as a form of a modern fairy tale. Alfieri is a lawyer and he respects the law. In his first monologue, he tells the audience, "Now we are quite civilized, quite American. Now we settle for half, and I like it better". When he says "settle for half" he means that the community of Red Hook rarely resolves its feuds with violence anymore. Now they compromise and rely on the law.
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Beatrice's two cousins move from Sicily to America to earn money. With them being illegal immigrants and nowhere to live, the Carbone family let them stay with them. Marco and Rodolpho, the Italians, settle in well at first. Rodolpho and Catherine get on very well but Eddie does not approve of Rodolpho and cannot accept their genuine love for each other. He even goes to talk to a lawyer as he does not want them together and has made this clear to Catherine. At the end of act one there is a harmonious family picture.
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Further tension in the first part of act one is created by Catherine telling Beatrice and Eddie that she has found a job. At first, Eddie argues against her, but in the end Beatrice and Catherine manage to persuade him. After this, when Marco and Rodolpho arrive, more tension is created, this time between Eddie and Rodolpho. This is because Catherine is obviously attracted to Rodolpho, and due to this, Eddie becomes very jealous of Rodolpho.Eddie does not like Rodolpho's rendition of "Paper Doll", due to the fact that he thinks Rodolpho is stealing her away from him.
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How does Miller use the development of characters and their interaction with others to build tension in the second half of Act 3, culminating in Proctor denouncing God?
Miller found himself before the "House Committee on Un-American Activities" and drew many comparisons between the Salem witch trials and the trial in which he found himself. Having further researched further the Salem witch trials Miller decided to write "The Crucible" which mirrored the almost immature and na�ve hysteria surrounding the communist threat. In this essay I will focus on the Court room scene in the second half of Act 3 in "The Crucible". I feel this scene draws many parallels with the manner of the McCarthy trials; the manipulative and biased nature of the judge, who seems to twist
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Alfieri is also important in setting the scene and described Red Hook as "the gullet of New York, swallowing the tonnage of the world." This gives the audience the impression that Red Hook is a slum, especially emphasised by the fact that it is, "swallowing the tonnage of the world" proving that many immigrants live here. These people, who are not able to afford the wealthier housing, therefore have to manage with the poor living conditions of the slum. Alfieri is able to portray to us the close-knit community that Red Hook is, due to the fact that they all
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As soon as Rodolfo and Marco arrive Eddie takes a sudden dislike to the cousin, Rodolfo, unlike Catherine who flirts with Rodolfo, much to Eddie's distaste. When Rodolfo sings for the family Eddie "rises and moves upstage", physically moving himself away from Rodolfo, the first bit of tension shown in the house. Within three months Catherine and Rodolfo are dating and Eddie is becoming more and more protective. "It's after eight... they must have seen every picture in Brooklyn by now."
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It is known that Arthur Miller wrote this story as a reaction to a tragic time in our history. In both situations people were accused and were found guilty with not much proof. You would think that the judges would dismiss a case when there wasn't much proof. In The Crucible the children were not acting normal and that scared everyone in the community. During McCarthyism there was thousands of Americans accused of being communists, and there were aggressive investigations and people were being questioned left and right from different groups and the government.
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It seems that Alfieri is drowned in stress and needs someone to talk to that is why he talks to the audience at certain intervals of the play. It's also as though Alfieri is retelling the play as he mostly speaks in past tense. Alfieri really begins to introduce drama to the play in his chat with Eddie before the boxing scene; this is a really tense conversation between them both as Eddie starts to reveal his true feelings for Catherine without realising himself.
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Holden developed this theory from his experience with Allie's death. When Allie died his physical form was not around anymore, so to Holden he disappeared. "Allie, don't let me disappear. Please, Allie". In Holden's own words he unconsciously admits that he associates death with disappearance. When he is crossing the street and feels he is going to die he asks Allie not to let him disappear, meaning not to let him die. This is why Holden is so determined to find out "where the ducks go" when they disappear, and return in the spring.
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As he explains, when he came home from jail he was like an expert on the "whole jail thing" and, over time, the children "got it confused and... [he] ended up a detective"(29). Or, more clearly, he went from being the bad guy to being the good guy. In Keller's mind, he was the good guy because he saved his family from being poor and having their reputations in the gutter. He says to his wife, "you wanted money, so I made money"(76).
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He rationalizes, "Even though it was Sunday and Phoebe wouldn't be there with her class or anything, and even though it was so damp and lousy out, I walked all the way through the park over to the Museum of Natural History." Holden views the museum as a refuge and preserver of childhood innocence. The museum is a landmark that is momentous in Holden's memory of his own childhood. He reminisces, "I get very happy when I think about it.
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What is The Crucible within the play, and how does it bring about change or reveal the individuals true character?
He was born to Jewish-American parents in Manhattan, in New York. His father owned a woman's clothes manufacturing business, which failed in the Wall Street Crash of 1929. After the business failed, his family moved to Brooklyn. Because of the effects of the Wall Street Crash on his family, Miller had little money for college after graduating in Abraham Lincoln High School. In order to gain a place at the University of Michigan, Miller had to work in a number of low status jobs to pay for his tuition.
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The belief in witches who had signed the 'Devil's book' was rife. In 1692, Salem suffered from mass hysteria as a group of young girls accused fellow villagers of being witches; John's wife was accused as was he. This resulted in social upheaval and the hangings of many and it proved that even the ideal society of Salem had problems. This society was an excellent setting to explore goodness because on the outset it seemed like a perfect civilization where the residents wanted to be as morally good but these events showed a different story and it is important to see why bad morals still remained.
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Arthur Miller states that Abigail Williams is the prime mover in the Salem hysteria. Discuss her importance, both as a character, and in terms of dramatic fusion on stage
There are quotes that shows this an example of one is 'Now give me an upright answer. Your name in the town-it entirely white, is it not? ...I herd it said she will not sit so close to something soiled.' Firstly this quote shows that parries and Abigail are not close, as the Parris has to force her to confide in him. Secondly this closeness seems more distance as Parris bouts Abigail, this is suggested as he is questioning her if she is soiled, implying her past actions were unclean and dirty. a quote that shows Abigail's personality likewise how this effects there relationship 'we danced uncle let you tell them we danced Parris is constantly trying
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The first scenes of Act 3 show us how Miller embarks on his way to create hostility by setting the scene in a very serious and enclosed environment. The first insight of suspense for the audience is the start of the Act when Miller is describing the room, "As the curtain rises, the room is empty, but for sunlight pouring through two high windows in the back wall." This sunlight could suggest the light of Heaven falling onto the proceedings, however as an audience we know the light brings nothing of the sort, and we are lulled into a false sense of security.
- Word count: 2805