• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the Role and Importance of the First "Flashback" Scene in Death of a Salesman.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the Role and Importance of the First "Flashback" Scene in Death of a Salesman The main point of this scene is to show how Willy feels and what he is thinking. It also explains to the audience the reasons for why Biff's life has been turned upside down and how Willy was connected to this. We are not entirely sure whether all of this is true: I think that Willy changes his memories to how he interprets them. The structure of the scene is a crescendo. Basically it starts off with Willy remembering the best things that he did and how good those days were. Then as he remembers more he recalls all the bad things that happened and that maybe it wasn't such a good time. Everything in his life was going well, he was successful at his job, he had respect, his family looked up to him and his two boys were also doing well. Then Willy's bad memories start to filter through. There were signs that Biff was stealing and was not performing well at school when he takes a football from school without permission and Bernard informs Willy that he is going to flunk maths. ...read more.

Middle

in the past. Also we hear a solo flute being played which connects him to the memory of his father whom played the flute. This also suggests a happier feeling on the part of Willy. Arthur Miller also makes the lights brighter making the act not seem normal and therefore what Willy is thinking. Brightness is connected with happiness, which also sets the tone for this scene. What Willy tells his sons is harmful because he lives in an unrealistic, fantasy world. He tells them that personality is important and that you don't have to work hard to get far. He makes himself seem successful and well liked but he later tells Linda that this is not true. This theory is very much wrong because all the hardworking people who Willy claims are not well liked are doing better in life than he is for example his brother Charlie. This is partly why his sons fail in life because they believed that life was easy and they didn't have to work hard- when they did try to do anything, they overestimated themselves and didn't succeed. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think this provokes sympathy for Willy from the audience because Willy knows he's done an extremely bad thing and is very sorry about it but he can't get out of the back of his mind. The end of this scene is the climax of the crescendo of Willy's guilt. It started with Willy liking the past when he was successful and his kids had a good future but as he remembers all of the bad things they all pile up and he 'explodes' saying "There's nothing the matter with him!" Willy realizes at the end that it was a really bad time and that things weren't as good as they seemed. Conclusion Arthur Miller doesn't just use the flashback as one of Willy's memories but to show Willy's state of mind and that he liked the past better than the present but finds cracks when recalling some of it. It also explains why the present is the way it is because Willy sometimes misled them. The structure helps us to understand it because it shows us how Willy's shame escalated when he realizes all the bad things he did. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Arthur Miller essays

  1. Consider the importance of time in "Death of a Salesman"

    Linda refuses to believe that Willy is anything other than a perfect husband whose failure can be blamed on others. As I said before, the most important aspects of time in the play are the flashbacks that Willy has. These are used to show how life was and how it has changed (or not as the case may be).

  2. Death of a Salesman: Discuss the Importance of Dreams in the Play and explore ...

    Ben is idolised by Willy for his success and wealth but at the same time distrusted by Linda. We don't meet Ben in person at any time throughout the play, only through Willy's dreams, so we are only aware of him through Willy's estimation of him.

  1. Arthur Miller said that his first title for “Death of a salesman” was “The ...

    This is one example of the dramatic irony Miller uses throughout the play to show that Willy is in a completely different world of his own. It also creates tension and suspense. The other characters do not see what he sees, but the audience do.

  2. Do we have the ability to control our destiny - Death of Salesman.

    'heroic' in the conventional sense: that is, he does not save damsels in distress or rescue small children from burning buildings. He isn't even particularly admirable, except in his tenacious adherence to his cockeyed ideals. For Willy Loman, morality is not important; material success is - personal attractiveness is, and chutzpah equally so.

  1. The Significance of a Line From Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

    The drama takes place in two acts without specified scene divisions. Miller has created two blocks of drama within one play, separated by an intermission. Since all the action leads to the resolution of the crisis, there is a constant pounding away of tension, conflict, emotion, and human passion.

  2. Critically discuss Michel Foucault's concept of knowledge/power with reference to Arthur Miller's film "The ...

    If we put this theory into practice within "The Crucible" one can suggest that Foucault's idea of power is quite na�ve. In "The Crucible" the young girls were from the dominant culture in Salem and exercised their power over the lower classes (or the dominated).

  1. HOW WELL DOES A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE FIT INTO THE TRAGEDY GENRE?

    I think that Arthur Miller meant for the play to be a Greek tragedy. He used Alfieri as a link with the history; the ancient theme is brought up in the introductory scene, "In some Caesar's year, in Calabria perhaps or on the cliff at Syracuse..."

  2. Analyse how character, language, setting and structure contribute to the dramatic effect of Death ...

    In many ways, Happy is similar to Willy. He has a poor job and often gets caught up in lies himself. In the restaurant scene, Biff is trying to tell Willy what happened with Bill Oliver. Happy doesn't want to see Willy upset and so he tells Biff to lie.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work