• 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. Examine how Arthur Miller creates a sense of dramatic tension in the final scene

    even more, and also unearth the wills and determinatiorTsf of other key characters that that shed light on the direction of the play. They publish the final heights of tension that finally reach their cadence in a moment of climax.

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

    be a good judge of characters and balanced, but they also like his character and can connect with his position in the play. And so this reflects the need for the chorus in a Greek tragedy to know about everything.

  2. "Everyone fails in a waste of misplaced energy and Miller offers no comfort to ...

    He misplaces his energy in the past whilst still living in the present and this is what essentially causes Willy's eventual suicide. We see Happy also failing in the play as he is still a strong believer and follower of the American Dream to the end.

  1. Death of a Salesman By Arthur Miller

    and past and in addition this makes evident how the mood differs during these two different times. How does Arthur Miller achieve the blending of present reality with dreams of the past and with what success? The protagonist of Arthur Miller's play Death of a Salesman repeatedly has flashbacks into

  2. To what extent does Arthur Miller's character 'Willy Loman' conform to the conventions of ...

    He would also outshine the sensible, plodding Charley and Bernard, thus establishing once and for all Willy's theory that having personality and being "well liked" were the great requisites for preminence. Losing his own job, Willy is naturally unhappy. But if he can still purchase success for Biff with the insurance money, he personally will yet have won.

  1. Death of a Salesman.

    In the eyes of the audience, he has no real happiness. When Dave Singleman was mentioned, by Willy when he was trying to tell Howard what being a salesman used to be like, we only have Willy�s evidence, as all we know, this man maybe maid up in Willy�s head.

  2. Death of a Salesman - review

    Biff was a star football player in high school, with scholarships to two major universities. He flunked math his senior year and was not allowed to graduate. He was going to make the credit up during the summer but caught Willy being unfaithful to Linda.

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