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University Degree: Arthur Miller

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. (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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. Provide evidence for the Relevance-theoretic hypothesis that the identification of explicatures is equally inferential, and equally guided by the Principle of Relevance as the recovery of implicatures.

    These processes are based on the Relevance Theory, where maximal contextual effect is wanted for minimal effort. Firstly, explicatures are defined as "assumptions that are explicitly communicated"1 by using "the linguistic clues provided, the appropriate contextual information and the Principle of Relevance as a basic guideline" 1. The process of explicating can be split up into: reference assignment, disambiguation, bridging and enrichment. If we take the following example into consideration, we can use it to make the process of explicating clearer. Ms Miller: Doctor, doctor! You've got to help me. I'm shrinking. Doctor: Sorry, I can't give you an appointment for three weeks.

    • Word count: 686
  10. Discuss how Arthur Miller suggests dramatic conflict at the beginning of the play 'Death of a Salesman'

    This contrast in the visual aspects of the play emphasizes any conflict between characters during the play. The house is presented as 'small and fragile-seeming', dwarfed by a wall of apartment blocks which contribute to the trapped and somewhat claustrophobic atmosphere created before there is any dialogue in the play. The initial word of the play, spoken by Linda, the wife of Willy, is said with trepidation, therefore Linda is expecting there to be a problem, and this is the first sign on conflict within speech. Willy reassures her, however Linda still appears to be anxious and is expecting there to be something wrong - 'did something happen?'.

    • Word count: 863
  11. The Choosing By Liz Lochhead - review

    They both won book prizes. In the second verse we find out that Mary's family have eventually moved to a house with a cheaper rent. Mary would not be going to a senior school, as her father did not "believe" in educating girls, uniforms, or any of that "nonsense". In the third verse we find out the two girls stayed in the "same houses, different homes", suggesting that they lived in the same kind of house but their home lives were vastly different.

    • Word count: 716
  12. Organisational change.

    Restaurant Scene 1. What is Willy's mood as he enters the restaurant? 2. Comment on the various changes in Biff's mood as the scene develops. 3. How does Miller convey Willy's anxiety for good news from Biff? 4. Why does Biff become angry and frustrated? Biff can no longer feed Willy lies and half-truths about himself. He wants to deal on 'cold fact' and painful reality. Willy wants to hear good news, but he doesn't seem to care whether the good news is true or not.

    • Word count: 899
  13. In what ways does Miller use Willy's last day to raise questions about the validity of the American Dream?

    Willy seeks to justify everything in monetary terms, going as far as putting a price on his life. Charley tells Willy that no man is worth "nothin' dead," showing that a successful man can see that there is more to life than money, yet a man like Willy is constantly reminded of his inadequacy and can see nothing beyond material gain. Willy, who has failed to achieve what he wanted, lives vicariously through his sons, encouraging them to pursue money rather than happiness. When Biff tells Happy that, with their physiques, they should be mixing cement on the open plains or be carpenters, Willy says, "even your grand-father was better than a carpenter."

    • Word count: 934
  14. Arthur Miller.

    As he became a rising playwright, he decided to write an autobiography titled Timebends: A Life in 1987. Miller's first taste of success came from All My Sons in 1947, winning him the New York Drama Critics Circle award. However, another brilliant piece of his, Death of a Salesman, raised controversial issues1 as to why the main character was merely just an ordinary man. Miller strongly stood firm to his view of tragedy, stating that emotion can be drawn from the audience through any character regardless of status if they are willing to die for a just cause.

    • Word count: 619
  15. A Discussion of Symbols in "A Death of Salesman".

    ultimately leads to Willy's downfall (the futile seeds). This is a crucial point in understanding and evaluating the play because the American Dream that Willy thought as infallible, in the end proves to be fallible by leading Willy to his downfall. Linda's And Woman's Stockings Reference in the play: (To Willy) Biff: You - you gave her mama's stockings![His tears break through and he rises to go] Discussion: The stockings in this play, in my opinion, represent sexual infidelity. Willy is accused by Biff for giving her mother's stockings to a woman.

    • Word count: 986
  16. The Crucible. Write about the character of Judge Danforth, and the use of his judicial powers in Salem.

    The first mention of Danforth is in Act three. Miller includes notes about many of the characters in the stage directions, and those of Danforth give an instant impression about him. 'Danforth is a grave man in his sixties, of some humour and sophistication, that does not, however interfere with an exact loyalty to his position and his cause.' He brings religion into his arguments a lot, mainly criticising those who do not attend church regularly. He seems to have more respect for those who are what he thinks of as 'good Christians.'

    • Word count: 766

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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