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

    He was shocked and distressed, which helped him to remember events correctly. The past events are never shown as they actually happened, they are shown the way Willy interprets them. Willy seems to distort the event when Biff finds Willy and 'The Woman' in the bedroom in Brooklyn.

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

    Much of Foucault's work makes contradictory statements and thus is not necessarily reliable when looking for truths, instead his writing is the developing process of his thoughts and is often experimental so should be read with an open mind and thought about critically.

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

    The play begins in the present as Willy is shown in the grips of a crisis. The source of this conflict is not totally shown to the audience, but Miller tells us what we need to understand through a series of flashbacks and daydreaming sequences.

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

    The subtext implication in Beatrice's line to Eddie; '... be an Uncle....' reveals her private understanding of his disturbing attachment to Catherine, and in turn, Eddie's awareness of her; '(criticizing force)' (p.38) impresses further awkwardness on their relationship. The gradual release of Eddie's suppressed desires, like this small comment from Beatrice, builds tension up in subtle stages, and stretches

  2. Consider how one character other than Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman and ...

    However, on reading the play again, and thinking about it more, I found it easier to consider the contribution of smaller characters to the action and appreciate the impact that a character can have even if, like The Messenger, they only appear towards the end of the play.

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