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University Degree: Arthur Miller

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  1. Free essay

    English Essay- Death of a salesman

    This refers back to the stage directions when Willy returns back for another visit to the past, it is said that " The apartment houses are fading out and the entire house and surroundings become covered with leaves" this may be that the pas has something to hide, and sets a scene of a better more happier life, a change in mood and the coming of the past. This is where the hope of the American Dream comes into the play.

    • Word count: 1170
  2. Free essay

    Death of a salesman

    As Willy had grown up without a father, for him, Ben took the place of a 'father figure', conversely Ben never seems to guide Willy or answer any of Willy's questions, 'What's the answer? How did you do it?' Ben replies with 'Oh, there's a story in that.' He never seems to give any support or advice to Willy, instead he claims of his own success; 'When I was seventeen I walked into the jungle, and when I was twenty-one I walked out.

    • Word count: 1681
  3. In All my sons, characters often invoke money as a reason for relinquishing ideals or hopes. Comment

    Joe Keller, the protagonist of the play, is a character that has strived to achieve the American dream, and the material comforts offered by modern American life. He interprets the American Dream as merely business success alone, and in his pursuit of it, relinquishes other parts of the so-called Dream. He sacrifices his human decency and a successful family life when he issues the order for the sale of sub-standard cylinder heads. However Keller can live with his actions because he believes through the selling of the faulty plane parts, he has maintained economic stability (by keeping the business alive)

    • Word count: 835
  4. Analyse and evaluate Millers choices of form, structure and language to express meaning

    Willy takes none of this into account: because Ben became so rich so fast that Willy looks up to him as an idol. Ben offered him the opportunity to go to Alaska with him, a very tempting offer for Willy. Willy agonises acutely over what, with hindsight, given his present failures, he considers a mistake made by not going with Ben. In Act I he talks to Charley about Ben's death, Willy - ...we got a letter from his wife in Africa.

    • Word count: 2007
  5. Discuss the themes of success and failure in Miller's 'Death of a Salesman'

    Willy sets himself goals to a standard, which are too high for a salesman like himself. "....was rich! That's just the spirit I want to imbue..." Willy's age doesn't help with what he wants to achieve. He becomes de-moralised by this and continues to set more goals which are unachievable for a salesman at the age of 60 like himself. With Willy continuously setting standards too high he continues the theme of failure throughout this play. But it isn't just Willy who suffers, it's the whole Loman family. In contrast to Willy's views on success and failure his son Biff, sees both in a different way.

    • Word count: 752
  6. Examine how Arthur Miller creates a sense of dramatic tension in the final scene

    The tragedy that occurs however is personalised through the mental stumbling and emotional complications of a few ordinary lives. These other, more general issues are intertwined with the main thread of the story and add to the devastation of the outcome. It is Alfieri, Miller's principle narrative character that links these issues in his bleak commentaries that analyse the development of the play and communicate the passage of time. His role is reminiscent of the Greek chorus narratives that frequented the traditional Greek tragedies fold. Arthur Miller intended the play to be a modern version of this genre, in which a central character is led by fate toward an inescapable destiny.

    • Word count: 2541
  7. (Based on Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller) The American Dream, the aspiration held by many people in the United State to live better (have a house

    Without idealism the mankind would be lost. But as everything in this world, there must be a balance between ideals and reality, otherwise it will become a utopia, some romantic dream with no real future. The play "Death of a Salesman" is the perfect example to support this thesis, its main character, Willy Loman; a sixty one years old salesman, in a capitalistic world is at the bottom of the hierarchic order. He posses nothing, and he makes nothing, so he has not got any sense of accomplishment whatsoever.

    • Word count: 773
  8. HOW WELL DOES A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE FIT INTO THE TRAGEDY GENRE?

    I think that Eddie's main character flaw is his unwillingness to accept reality. His reality contains a secret desire for Catherine; this, to Eddie is something disgusting and immoral - as to him she is a daughter and some conflicting inner voice tells him that it is the only way it can be. For her he has an intense love but maybe this love arises from desire. I believe his secret desire for Catherine motivates him a great deal that exposes other/new flaws to the audiences, for instance jealousy and stubbornness. We can see from Eddie's actions and the way he talks to Catherine that he has some sort of secret desire for her.

    • Word count: 3859
  9. "Evacuation was a great success" Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation? Explain your answer using the sources and knowledge from your own studies.

    However, all the people in the photo are looking at the camera so it looks as if it has been posed and possibly used as propaganda. Furthermore, source D shows how evacuation was a success. It shows some evacuees taking a bath; they all look happy which is a sign to show that the children enjoyed themselves. The children also look very clean and healthy; this was very common for evacuees as it was a result of the clean country life.

    • Word count: 1050
  10. "Everyone fails in a waste of misplaced energy and Miller offers no comfort to his audience" - Discuss this comment on 'Death of a Salesman'.

    Willy unsurprisingly finds this humiliating and difficult to believe, 'you can't eat the orange and throw the peel away - a man is not a piece of fruit'. Willy has no status as a businessman and he confesses that 'the trouble is, Linda, people don't seem to take to me'. Willy believes in the fantasy of the American Dream which suggests that wealth and an attractive personality alone can make him happy. We even see Willy being patronised when his boss addresses Willy as 'kid', representing that Willy is still seen as a kid in the business world.

    • Word count: 1781
  11. The Salem Witch Trials

    They were no longer acting like good quite Puritan maidens but more like something possessed (Roberts 26). On January 20,1962 nine year old Elizabeth Parris and eleven year old Abigail Williams began to act strangely, displaying screaming, convulsive seizures, trance-like states and mysterious spells. Within a short time other Salem girls began to demonstrate similar behavior (Sheffield). Sometimes they would get on their hands and knees and act like mad dogs. All over the community the girls drew a crowd, some seemed to think all they needed was a good whipping to set them straight, others stood looking at them in helpless horror as the girls endured their fits.

    • Word count: 1492
  12. Discuss the view given of the American way of life in 'Death of a Salesman.

    The basis for the dramatic conflict in 'Death of a Salesman' lies in Arthur Millers conflicted relationship with his uncle, Manny Newman, also a salesman. Manny imagined a continuous competition between his son and Miller refusing to accept failure and demanded at least the appearance of complete confidence in his household. Miller in his youth had written a short story about an unsuccessful salesman, which he revived after his experiences with his uncle. The result was that he produced one of the most successful dramas in the history of the American stage.

    • Word count: 2072
  13. Evans-Pritchard's Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic among the Azande tells us little about the occult but a great deal about common sense and morality in close personal relationships. Do you agree?

    It is important to note that to the Azande a witch is an unremarkable agent. Referring to someone as a witch is simply stating a fact, rather like you or I calling someone a doctor. The actions of a witch are not seen as eerie; rather they are seen as aggressive (page 19). To the people of the Azande witchcraft is as much a part of life as taxes may be for us. As such, they must live with witchcraft and as much as possible deal with it. So why do the Azande have a concept of witchcraft, how does it help them understand how the world around them works?

    • Word count: 1927
  14. Consider how one character other than Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman and one character (including the chorus) other than Oedipus in King Oedipus contribute to the 'action' of each of these plays.

    Therefore, Greek Theatre laid more importance on the text as this could be easily projected around the amphitheatre; action was conveyed through the spoken word rather than through physical movements and gestures. A 'dramatic revolution' took place in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with a move back to ideas similar to those of the Greek Theatre. The plays of Ibsen and other playwrights of his era such as Chekhov, placed a huge importance on the use of dramatic texts.

    • Word count: 2620
  15. Eddie brings about his own downfall. Discuss this statement with close reference to the beginning of act 2 (43-50) - "A View From The Bridge".

    In act 2 we were expecting Eddie to be more suspicious of Rodolfo and begin to change because of it. Eddie's character and character changes dramatically throughout the play as he begins to be a noble character and ends up as a tragic hero. At the beginning of the play, Eddie agrees to take Rodolfo and Marco in, saying: "It's an honour B., I mean it." In the beginning of the play, Eddie mentions Vinny Bolzano as he told the immigration bureau about his uncle.

    • Word count: 1547
  16. Caplan is a theatre critic. She argued that "The Crucible" is sexist in its portrayal of women. Consider Miller's presentation of female characters. How far do you agree with Caplan's view?

    Miller's presentation of Abigail Williams is one of my main causes for agreeing with Betty Caplan on the grounds that Miller's presentation of female characters is sexist. She is introduced as a strikingly beautiful seventeen-year-old girl, an orphan, and she also retains an endless capacity for dissembling. That is how she is introduced and that is how she remains throughout the entire play. She has no grounds for redemption and it appears as though Miller makes no attempt to develop her character in any way.

    • Word count: 1786
  17. What do you find interesting about the way Miller presents the character of Abigail in act 1 of the crucible?

    When trying to convince Parris that she didn't conjure spirits she doesn't hesitate to blame those around her, "(Whispering) Not I, sir - Tituba and Ruth" she uses another one of her useful attributes here her endless capacity for dissembling. This exploits the extent to which her dissembling reaches. She is able to convince her own uncle that other people conjured spirits and that she had nothing to do with the incident. By allowing the character of Abigail to have an endless capacity for dissembling, Miller intentionally creates a false barrier in front of Abigail.

    • Word count: 1488
  18. Compare the ways in which the Miller presents John the Carpenter in 'The Miller's Tale' with the ways in which Miss Fozzard presents Bernard in 'Talking Heads 2.'

    As there is not 'I' the story relates directly to the reader, therefore as a reader we tend to relate to the character the narrator relates to, and in the same way find humour in the way that John the carpenter is treated as the Miller obviously finds this tale humorous. This technique also helps to portray Nicholas as being pathetic, as the audience can see that all other characters know how he is being manipulated except for himself. This is expressed in the narrator's comment about Alison and John, "she knew it better than he."

    • Word count: 1956
  19. The Crucible - Do you agree that Proctor is a "melodramatic hero" whose committed choice for personal sacrificing death returns order to the world?

    In the village most if not all were Puritans. This was a very simple religion that extreme strictness on religion and morals therefore his problem was sinning against one of the 'Ten Commandments' being a great fault in the Puritan society. Salem society influences the ideas and actions of John Proctor. He fulfils the requirements of a "melodramatic hero" by his actions throughout the story. His "melodramatic hero" position is shown by his efforts to save his wife from being put to death, his attempt to prove the children are making fraudulent claims, and his unwillingness to confess to practising witchcraft when accused.

    • Word count: 929
  20. Tokyo ben and Kansai ben - Japanese has many local dialects.

    The first difference is vocabulary. Different dialects use different words for the same things. For example, "arigato"(thank you) is used in Tokyo ben while "maido ookini"(thank you) is used in Kansai ben instead (Rie-Higuchi,2002). The easterners say "yano-assatte"(the day after tomorrow), "shoppai"(salty) and "-nai"(not) whereas the westerners use "shi-asatte" (the day after tomorrow), "ka-rai"(salty) and "-n" or "-nu" (not) (Shibatani,2002). The second difference between two dialects is spelling. The numbers of syllables decrease in Kansai ben. Many words in Tokyo ben are shorten when are used in Kansai ben. For example, the word "yoku"(very well)

    • Word count: 593
  21. A View From The Bridge.

    As the play progresses his actions can be shown in an incestuous manner even though they are not blood related, even at the beginning of the play when she tries on her new dress, he tells her to turn around to see the back which is quite suspect. He appears to be watching her every move as if he wants her all to himself which seems to be unnoticeable to the other characters. The tension in the household rises greatly at some points and is eased at others to a climax which ends dramatically all because of Rodolpho's the close relationship with Catherine.

    • Word count: 1654
  22. The American Dream in Death of a Salesman and A Streetcar Named Desire

    him, as it did to his father, as his words "I've always made a point of not wasting my life, and every time I come back here I know that all I've done was waste my life" (Baym 2118) indicate. Perhaps, this difference was brought about when Biff found out about his father's affair back at the age of 17, and exclaimed "You fake! You phony little fake!" (Baym 2166) at both his father and the American Dream. It may explain why "From the age of seventeen nothing good ever happened to him" (Baym 2152), because it was then that

    • Word count: 893
  23. The office scene (pages 59 - 66) is a crucial part of the play as it sees the turning point in Willy's career and encourages the last part of his mental downfall towards destruction and dramatises many of the central concerns that are shown throughout.

    The technology is grasping Howard's attention, but at the same time blocking out anything that Willy is trying to say - similar to the new order of business taking over from the old order, including Willy. New businessmen and new technology are crushing Willy and he is getting left behind. The wire recorder is playing Howard's son reciting the capital cities of American states and is effectively recalling the American Dream. This also shows Howard's relationship with his children and emphasises how proud he is of his children and this is seen in contrast to the relationships that Willy shares with his sons.

    • Word count: 1427
  24. Oleanna, written by David Mamet.

    When Carol asserts that she is the one speaking, John continues to interrupt her with apologies for interrupting. Ironically, he repeatedly says he wishes to level with her. Carol's lack of understanding also causes interruptions in the flow of conversation. When she does not know what a word means she interrupts John to ask for simpler terminology. When he gives her a synonym for the word in question Carol replies, "Then why can't you use that word?" (2.1811). Carol certainly seems to think that he overuses big words in an attempt to belittle her. The anger and aggravation created by this also contributes to failure in communication; they both feel they are not given the opportunity to say what they need to.

    • Word count: 972
  25. After the fact Salem witch trials.

    Because nothing like that have ever been seen before and because doctors were not able to find any symptoms or causes of the behavior, physicians concluded that the girls were under the influence of Satan. Now days a diagnosis of this sort is not feasible. In a way the people of Salem were obsessed with the Devil they blamed the Devil for a lot of hardships that they faced. In February of the same year prayer services and fasting were held by Rev.

    • Word count: 927

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Discuss the Role and Importance of the First "Flashback" Scene in Death of a Salesman.

    "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."

  • Discuss how Arthur Miller suggests dramatic conflict at the beginning of the play 'Death of a Salesman'

    "In my opinion, the reason behind the conflict between Willy and his family is his outlook on life as a whole, particularly his inability to confront life with genuine integrity and faith in himself, all faith and self confidence he may appear to have is false, and his lies could arguably haunt him, this is because he has the wrong perspective on the way he should be living his life and has a certain longing for things to very different, he has grown to be very unhappy within himself, and about what his lifestyle (his home, his area) has become. The beginning of 'Death of a Salesman', therefore, is a play in which we see a number of central and significant themes being developed immediately with the help of Arthur Miller's use of techniques such as setting and symbolism. These themes include inadequacy and lacking awareness of reality. The exploration of the theme of failure within a successful society is something which has relevance for those who believed in 'The American Dream'."

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