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AS and A Level: Arthur Miller
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Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, produced and published in 1949, still has a lasting effect today in the year 2001.
Death of a Salesman is centered on w***y Loman who is a 63 years old salesman and has a wife named Linda and two sons, Biff and Happy. Arthur Miller creates the Loman family so that everyone in a way could relate to someone in the family in one-way or another. Many people in the late 1940's and the 1950's had lived through a very miserable depression, and it was during this time that the American Society and economy was changing as it was becoming more and more advanced technologically.
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McCarthyism and The Crucible contain many similarities and differences in their persecution and accusation of people who are identified as criminals of their societies.
Unknowingly to the people in Salem at the time, Abigail's witch hunt was nothing more than to regain her affair with John Proctor, get rid of his wife, Elizabeth, and rid any talk of her dancing in the woods naked. One cannot help to see the uncanny similarity in the two historical events that occurred over four hundred years apart. McCarthyism and The Crucible contain other similarities as well, such as the complete breakdown of the justice system. In both instances, people that are accused are immediately seen as a communist or a witch, without a trial or any other form of a court.
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w***y begins to believe that [In a thick American accent] "No man needs a little salary." w***y perceives himself lower than everybody else partly due to his low wages. One of his great dreams would just be "forty dollars a week" but his new generation bosses decide even his 34 years of experience wont warrant him a proper salary. Now if w***y Loman a salesman of 34 years cannot even command a low rate salary what is the profession coming to? The book marks the passing of time, where no longer men can simply become great being simple salesmen.
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How important is the character Alfieri in the play "A View from the Bridge"? Consider his role in the action and how miller uses him as a dramatic device.
He acts like a prologue and an epilogue to the play, creating suspense. Alfieri plays an important role as a narrator; he introduces the theme of justice. In the beginning, for example, Alfieri tells us, to meet a lawyer on the streets of Red Hook is unlucky an that "In Sicily, from where their farthers came, the law has not been a friendly idea since the Greeks were beaten." This tells us that the people of Red Hook do not abide by the law. This could be because of the way they were brought up, having there own view there own justice, which wasn't as Marco later says "in a book."
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Discuss the ways in which Arthur Miller uses the characters of Alfieri to highlight cultural differences and to develop the audience's understanding of theme, character and plot.
'A view from the Bridge' is about the movement of immigrants migrating from Italy to America. They moved because of the 'American Dream's which was people from other countries going to America to start a new life and earn a good living full of opportunities. The Italian migration happened mainly between 1820-1920. More than 4 million Italian people moved to America. Brooklyn Bridge and its surrounding areas are used as the setting of the play. The word Gullet is used by Alfieri to describe the place where they live. The word is a metaphor and it creates an atmosphere that is not very pleasant to live in. Alfieri's first speech introduces the background information of Italians.
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in an accident case some years before and I was aquatinted with the family in a casual way. Alfieri has different roles and purposes within the play. His roles are to be a character in the play and also to be a narrator. As a character, Alfieri is a lawyer who Eddie trusts and goes to for advice several times throughout the play. For example, Eddie goes to Alfieri to ask about Catherine falling in love with Rodolpho and what he should do, he asks Alfieri "I'm talking to you confidential, ain't I".
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Discuss the various ways in which Arthur Miller uses Alfieri as a dramatic device in ‘A View from the Bridge.’
Alfieri knows Rodolpho is an immigrant, but pays very little interest to this trait (regardless of him being a lawyer). He also understands that for Eddie to be rid of Rodolpho, he would have to inform the police of his illegal entry into America. This would mean breaking the system of �omerta�, and Alfieri strongly advises against this proceed. This scene reveals Alfieri as a character in the play, but still honours him as a narrator. It proves him not only to be abiding by the law, but also by �omerta.� He is shown as quite a fondly affiliated figure.
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Miller himself appeared before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956. He was convicted of contempt, but later the conviction was appealed and reversed. McCarthy attracted national attention with the charge that Communists had infiltrated the Department of State. Although his accusation was never substantiated, during the next three years he repeatedly accused various high-ranking officials of treasonous activities. Again this can also be linked to Abigail in the Crucible. The outcome of the trials had an effect on the outcome of the play; as when reading the play clear parallels can be seen between the two.
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Time is the ubiquitous force present in these dramatic works that cannot be ignored. The significance of time as a theme is a vital aspect in both plays with striking contrasts echoing throughout the plot reinforcing the tragedy of wasted lives.
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Analyse the dramatic effectiveness of the opening to ‘Death of a Salesman’ by Arthur Miller.
He is a tragic hero, who ends up on a path that leads to his own destruction. This is because of his flaws in his character. w***y has too much pride in himself and lives a lie as a corollary he is unemployed and his debts are raising. Linda is a humble wife and is the arbiter of peace in the family she is protective of w***y and stands in between w***y and her sons to ease tension. She realises w***y is now old and tired and desires the family to be happy, which is impossible because of financial problems.
- Word count: 796
Discuss the dramatic importance of the role of the narrator Alfieri in the play “A view from the bridge” By Arthur Miller.
The play has been compared to a Greek tragedy, with Alfieri playing the part of the Greek chorus, but unlike a Greek chorus Alfieri is physically involved in the play and in the characters lives, particularly Eddie Carbone's. Alfieri helps understanding in the play. Part of Alfieri's role in the play is to create dramatic irony so the audience knows more than the characters do. Through this and other methods he builds tension in the play. As the narrator,Alfieri introduces the play and tells the audience a little about what the play is about and what is might be based around.
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Discuss Millers dramatic presentation of tension between George and Keller in this extract from "All My Sons".
He is accounting for his own actions through poor Steeve Deever. George makes sure Keller knows how much hatred Steve has for Joe, which causes a backlash from Joe stating that he is â€œsad to see he hasnâ€™t changed. After 25 years he still hasnâ€™t learned to take the blame.â€ It is clear at this point Joe is starting to feel threatened by George and feels as though he needs to clarify that it was Steve that caused the death of the airmen to make himself feel better.
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?How does he know?? and ?She doesn?t know, does she?? Furthermore, these adjacency pairs in the form of question and answer between Toe and Kate also assert her power and strength that we begun to see at the end of Act 1 in the stage directions ?sits stiffly in a chair.? She is Joe?s rock and without her he would have no-one to turn to, to answer his questions or to keep him going.
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In All My Sons, Arthur Miller offers a different perspective on the conventional Aristotle tragic hero with Joe Keller
Joe?s engines cylinders were used in fighter planes, which his son flew. Due to faulty cylinders, which Joe knew about yet still sent off to the army, men died. This brought his close colleague and friend imprisonment and brought shame to his wife, Kate and his son, Chris. Throughout the tragedy, Joe Keller fits with the conventional Aristotle idea of tragic hero, but Arthur Miller also offers a different perspective. Here Joe Keller will be compared to the classical model of a tragic hero, on how he relates and differs, looking closely at how Arthur Miller specifically conveys him differently.
- Word count: 777
In the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Willys distorted view of reality affects not only his view of success but also the views of his sons.
The main cause of this was the expectation that Biff be an extraordinary man and have a fantastic career, however this just isn?t realistic. Biff no longer wants any part of w***y's delusions. Biff realizes neither him or his father is anything special and doesn?t hesitate to tell him: ?I am not a leader of men, w***y, and neither are you. You were never anything but a hard-working drummer who landed in the ash can like the rest of them!? (Act 2)
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The entire play is set in the Keller house backyard which compliments various moral messages of Miller's play. The backyard is supposed to act as a secluded domain for the Keller family to freely discuss private matters but we are shown how easy it is for other characters to walk into their property and that they could never truly be uninvolved with the rest of the community. The use of unelaborated dialogue and colloquial diction give each character believable and relatable characteristics and the mundane banter the characters have with each other establishes the characters to be ordinary everyday people.
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Article Analysis. When Arthur Millers The Crucible was being made into a movie, he decided to write an article called Why I Wrote the Crucible in the New Yorker.
Arthur Miller utilizes many descriptive words to receive the desired response from his audience. Miller uses diction right out of the gate. In the first paragraph, Miller uses phrases such as ?biting irony?, ?frigid jail?, and ?inevitable as rain?, that all convey a dark and negative tone to the reader. In the context of this article, ?biting irony? is used to describe how Miller feels about his play being made into a movie. ?Biting irony? indicates that Miller is unhappy about the recreation of his play. Irony isn?t always used to communicate a negative tone, but when Miller adds biting to irony, he effectively creates the negative tone he desires.
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This 'dream' consists of a genuine and determined belief that in America, all things are possible to all men, regardless of birth or wealth; if you work hard enough you will achieve anything. However, Miller believes that people have been 'ultimately misguided' and Miller's play, Death of a Salesman, is a moving destruction of the whole myth. The tragedy of w***y Loman, says Arthur Miller, is: ?w***y gave his life, or sold it, in order to justify the waste of it?? w***y represents Every low-man in America.
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That makes him categorize as a ?round? character, now we will discover why. When Chris is introduced in the play, Miller described him as: ?He is thirty-two; like his father, solidly built, a listener. A man capable of immense affection and loyalty.? That description gave us an idea of what kind of person Chris Keller is or at least seems to be. He demonstrates to be a very correct and respectful man. An example of that is his secret love for Ann.
- Word count: 606