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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. "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
  4. "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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. Death of a Salesman - Write a critical appreciation of the Requiem. To what extent does this passage reflect the tone, style and concerns of the play as a whole?

    Brian Parker suggests that this technique "forces the audience to become Willy Loman's for the duration of the play." We see in the requiem scene how Willy's dream of a large funeral, like Dave Singleman's, to prove to his boys how well-liked he was, proves to be just another false dream. Above all, Willy seems to prize the emotional appeal of being popular, like Singleman, and it seems to be social standing that really motivates him. His prediction that his funeral would be well attended by all those who liked and respected him was a false hope and the belief that he was respected is clearly unfounded.

    • Word count: 1303
  14. "The American Dream" in Arthur Millers Death Of A Salesman

    Happy is the Loman's youngest son. He is also of low moral character. Happy has always been the "second son" and tries to be noticed by his parents by showing off. Hap tries to be on Will's good side and keep him happy, even if it means perpetuating the lies and illusions that Willy lives in. Happy loses himself to the unattainable American dream therefore forebodes his own failure through his delusions. Biff was a star football player in high school with scholarships to two major universities.

    • Word count: 1307
  15. Death of a Salesman and the American Dream.

    He flunked math his senior year and was not allowed to graduate. He became a drifter and was lost for 15 years. Happy Loman is the youngest son. He lives in New York in an apartment. Happy which they call Hap is of low moral character. Hap has always been the "second son" to Biff and tries to be noticed by his parents by showing off. Hap also tries to be on Willy's good side and keep him happy, even if it means perpetuating the lies and illusions, that Willy lives in.

    • Word count: 1344
  16. 'Death of a Salesman' is about characters that lie to themselves as well as others. How does Arthur Miller present the theme of dishonesty within the play?

    However, in this play the central character (Willy Loman) dreams of those specifications for a 'perfect' life but never achieves it. The term "dishonesty" means a lack of honesty. It's almost like a fraud. In this piece of writing I will try to answer the question "How does Arthur Miller present the theme of dishonesty within the play?" In an attempt to answer this question I will be looking at characters, the stage directions, language and possibly flashbacks. Firstly I will study the characters individually and comment on how the theme of dishonesty is characterised during the play.

    • Word count: 1984
  17. How do The Odyssey and The Crucible use the hero in order to explore the concerns of their times?

    Essentially it is an epic tale in which the wicked are destroyed, right prevails, and the family is reunited. On the other hand, The Crucible was written in the early 1950's in America and is set in 1692 in Salem, a small town in colonial Massachusetts. It follows the witch-hunts of 1692 which began when several young girls were stricken with an illness characterized by symptoms of hallucinations and seizures, which were ascribed to witchcraft. This led to the eventual execution of thirty individuals for the crime of witchcraft.

    • Word count: 1551
  18. Discuss Miller's Presentation of Self-Deception in Death of a Salesman.

    Miller introduces Willy's older brother Ben as a hallucination when Willy has to make important decisions. Willy idolises Ben, despite having only met him a few times during his adult life, because Ben has achieved easy and lucrative success. I view their interchanges as representative of the mental processes that Willy goes through in order to reassure himself that his choices are informed and objective. For example, in the play's final act Ben summarises Willy's decision to commit suicide as, 'A perfect proposition all around'. Despite the fact that Ben's judgement is just a function of his own opinion, Willy needs this affirmation to give the idea status inside his own head.

    • Word count: 1256
  19. "Willy Loman is such an unpleasant character that it is very difficult to sympathise with him, yet Miller clearly means us to do so." Discuss and evaluate this comment, with close reference to Miller's presentation.

    His particular slant on this ideal is that a man succeeds by selling his charisma, that to be well liked is the most important asset a man can have. He made a living at this for over 30 years, but as he enters the reclining years of his life, people have stopped smiling back and he can no longer sell the firm's goods to support himself. His ambition was one of greatness, to work hard and to be a member of the firm; and if he could not succeed in this respect, that he should at least be well-liked and

    • Word count: 1489
  20. In this essay I will be looking at the importance of family relationships in Arthur Miller's play 'Death of a salesman' and in particular Willy's relationships with his two sons Biff and Happy.

    This meant that Miller had to pay his own way through university by taking a variety of jobs. At the age of 17 he started to write the book 'Death of a salesman' and even though he started to write the book at such an early age it wasn't published until 1949. His background and experience influenced the themes of the play so if Miller had a different background the chances are he would of never wrote the book 'Death of a salesman'.

    • Word count: 1118
  21. The Card game scene is an important dramatic scene in "Death of a Salesman." What is Miller trying to convey to the audience through the scene and which dramatic devices and structures does he use to achieve this?

    It starts off with Willy downstairs in the kitchen with Happy who has come down to see what the matter is when in walks Charley who is wondering what all the noise is about. Charley is presented as the dramatic opposite of Willy; he is successful, has plenty of money and is well liked. He pities Willy and is happy to help out with anything he can, including money, but he cannot understand why Willy will not take the job he is offering him.

    • Word count: 1325
  22. Act I in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman."

    This disapproval signifies the ultimate personal and professional insult and failure. Willy's consciousness is split between despair and hope, and therefore, it is possible that both considerations are behind Willy's choice not to criticize Biff's youthful carelessness. Willy's life is a failure for him and now he is trying to redeem his life by "The American Dream." He displays characteristics of a happy man looking for all the success he can find and puts his faith in Biff as the bright hope of the future. He wants his "boys" to be all that they can be and not see them fail just like he has been.

    • Word count: 1072
  23. Death of a Salesman.

    Miller criticises the general way of the business world. Howard, the young boss of Willy's company, represents the ruthless and impersonal nature of capitalistic enterprise. When Willy goes to ask Howard if he can be transferred to a job in New York, Howard refuses to help him even though Willy has been working for the company for a long time and was good friends with his father. When Willy asks why he cannot be reassigned, Howard replies, 'it's a business, kid, and everybody's gotta pull his own weight,' thus demonstrating Howard's cold indifference to Willy's situation.

    • Word count: 1212
  24. Death of a Salesman: Discuss the Importance of Dreams in the Play and explore how Dreams are Present?

    In Death of a Salesman, there are several types of dreams that are clear. These are the hopes and ambitions of the characters, daydreams fantasies and memories, such as the American Dream. Dreams are a very important part of the play. They encourage the characters into their actions and explain their behaviour both in the past and the 'real time' that the play is set in. The dreams also affect the way that the whole play is structured. Willy complains about his work and struggles to pay his bills. He is also frequently shown in a state of depression, he cannot concentrate when driving; he is still working at his old age and is struggling to bring in a steady earning.

    • Word count: 1604
  25. Discussing Joe Keller.

    Joe Keller justifies his actions in terms of the family, to which alone he acknowledges responsibility. Like so many of Miller's characters, he wishes to leave his mark on the world, to justify his existence, and how else but by passing the business onto his sons. He forgets, however, that he has a responsibility which extends far beyond the family. Indeed, in some senses, this had been a central theme of the 1930s literature with which Miller was so familiar.

    • Word count: 1121

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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