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AS and A Level: Arthur Miller

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  1. Who or what was responsible For the Salem Witch trials?

    This in turn leads to the hysteria of people naming people they want to get revenge on. Many people blamed people they had grudges against or by that persons death they would become better off, i.e. land wise. If any one did anything wrong or out of the ordinary then there were accused of witchcraft. Many more were convicted of witchery but many admitted to it falsely as they would not be hanged therefore saving their lives. Although their soul would be damned this was an iccredible decision for the society to make.

    • Word count: 1557
  2. 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.

    • Word count: 653
  3. 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.

    • Word count: 761
  4. Death of a Salesman

    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.

    • Word count: 528
  5. 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."

    • Word count: 710
  6. A View From the Bridge - All My Sons - Examine the role of Alfieri, its dramatic impact, and its contribution to the play.

    Alfieri is a lawyer, who is used during the pay to advise Eddie and address the audience. He opens the play in a suit and hat, appearing very respectable and well turned out. Miller uses detailed stage directions: [ Enter Alfieri, a lawyer in his fifties turning grey; he is portly, good-humoured and thoughtful. ] Miller knew that first impressions were very important, and that this opening scene was vital to the rest of the play. He uses great detail to try and push across his views. The actor must have been under great pressure to perform this particular scene well.

    • Word count: 1878
  7. Write about the character of Danforth and his exercise of his judicial powers in Salem.

    At the same time as we first meet Danforth we are also introduced to Judge Hathorne. Hathorne is a cold unbending judge and is so throughout the entirety of the play. This is somewhat different to Danforth who seems prepared to listen to new evidence despite him being very firm in his proceedings and defence of the court. I actually think on first appearance Danforth is shown to be a fair man. He is willing to listen to evidence against the constraints of Hathorne.

    • Word count: 1898
  8. Death of a Salesman - How effective is the ending? Who do we sympathise with?

    There was no necessity for it. We would've helped him." Of the two brothers Happy still believes in the American dream, and has fallen for its poor existence. He still supports it after seeing what has happened to his father and the life he has lived. This is shown at the very end of the play, " I'm not licked that easily. I'm staying right in this city, and I'm gonna beat this racket!" I think Happy believes that he owes it to his father to follow in his footsteps, so that he has at least one successful son.

    • Word count: 2181
  9. The Salem Witch Trial - Brief History and Thoughts as to What Caused Them

    Sarah Good was a middle aged, pregnant beggar woman who did not attend church for lack of proper clothing. When she would leave the house of someone she was begging for food, she could be found muttering under her breath. Sarah Osborne was older, wealthy and had not only not gone to church for more than a year, but was gossiped to have lived with her husband before marring him. These reasons alone made them easy pray for those ready to see the devil in Salem.

    • Word count: 1937
  10. 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.

    • Word count: 890
  11. An Analysis of the Dramatic Impact of the Restaurant Scene in Death of a Salesman - Death of a Salesman was first performed in 1947 and was seen to be a powerful and moving piece of drama. I will now be going through the appeal and the impact of the pla

    Essentially, Biff?s discovery of w***y?s affair drains him of all the faith he had in w***y. w***y sees Biff as an underachiever, and a person that could rise to the top, but Biff on the other hand sees himself trapped in his father?s unrealistic ambitions. Biff?s general identity crisis is a major aspect in the drama. In order to find it, he must expose his father?s delusions. Happy Loman is seen as w***y?s incarnation but with all his worst aspects. He is a difficult character to emphasize. He is a one-dimensional and emotionless character in the play.

    • Word count: 4549
  12. Chris' Character - Father-Son Relationship - All My Sons is considered Miller's most famous play.

    Perhaps, a close examination of the character of Chris Keller and his relation to his father would make this point even clearer. As the play opens, we are immediately made to realize how Chris highly regards his father and the depth of his affection for him that he comes to believe that he (his father) is a perfect and ideal person. This fact has been affirmed when his mother-Kate- expresses her worries about George's - Steve Deveer's son- purpose in paying a visit to their house.

    • Word count: 1544
  13. The Roles of Alfieri in a View from the Bridge

    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".

    • Word count: 559
  14. Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman - A detailed critical appreciation of Act I Sequence 9

    Linda does not cry or use emotional blackmail to plead her case because it is not part of her character: "A threat, but only a threat, of tears" (p.38). Linda has a feet-on-the-ground approach to life. She puts up with w***y, despite his faults: "I know he's not easy to get along with- nobody knows that better than me" (p.38). With every insult Biff throws at w***y, Linda always defends him, for example: LINDA: If you don't have any feeling for him, then you can't have any feeling for me.

    • Word count: 1422
  15. Death Of A Salesman

    w***y cannot see who he and his sons really are. He believes that they are great men, who have what it takes to be successful and beat the business world, like he believes he has, but he is mistaken in reality, w***y and his sons are both not successful, in the business world. The American dream offers chances of riches even to those who start with nothing; it works back to the early history of America when the pioneers conquered the wilderness of the future. The image that was created was that becoming rich was a simple matter of asserting your personal qualities as an individual.

    • Word count: 1090
  16. 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.

    • Word count: 843
  17. Why Does Abigail Have the Effect She Has Upon Salem?

    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.

    • Word count: 996
  18. Time Echoing Life

    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.

    • Word count: 305
  19. Show how miller suggests a rising wave of hysteria though Hales interrogation methods, Tituba’s replies and the interventions of other characters.

    This indicates the intense moment for Tituba and reverend Hale. As Hale is gently leading Tituba into confessing with his concentrated interrogation methods in this intense and dramatic experience, he slyly slips in another question "when the devil comes to you does he ever come with another person?" Hale not realising by proposing such a thing he is going to begin a witch-hunt. Putnam then intervenes "Sarah Good? Did you ever see Sarah Good with him? Or Osburn? He is planting names in Tituba's mind for her to use later, this is adding to the growing tension.

    • Word count: 1269
  20. 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
  21. What do acts III and IV tell us about justice, truth and the characters in this act?

    Most of us are now aware that most of the bible is not to be taken literally, but symbolically. With relevance to the witch-hunt the puritans believed that no one would lie about something of such importance as witchcraft, after all " god damns all liars" and what puritan in their right mind would wish damnation upon themselves. Of course we know that the girls had no fear about lying to ensure they get their own way. So if anyone was accused they had to be guilty, and the only way they could save their lives would be to confess to witchery.

    • Word count: 1217
  22. The Role of Alfieri

    Alfieri is first and foremost a narrator but as the play develops, he also plays the part of the lawyer, trying to prevent the tragedy from happening. Arthur Miller has used this characteristic in Alfieri to divide each act into unofficial scenes, and inform the audience on any missed action. Alfieri prepares the audience for the action to take place. In the second of these two scenes, Alfieri hints at what is to come in an abstract way. I feel that Alfieri re-tells the story because he talks in the past tense.

    • Word count: 1309
  23. Death of a salesman

    in which the hero is destroyed by a personal failing in adverse circumstances. The modern idea of a 20th century hero can be traced back to the Shakespearean times ,and then back even further to the time of the Greeks. The classical ancient drama was inspired and influenced by the Greeks and Roman culture. A classic Greek tragedy consists of : a character flaw : which ultimately leads to death . Mistakes : which are made throughout the play are then re-corrected by other characters and they don't make the same mistakes. Death : where the main character dies through his character flaw.

    • Word count: 1901
  24. What is there about the society of Salem which allowed the girls’ stories to be believed?

    In this settlement, there was only one religion, the Protestant one. The town of Salem was surrounded by forest inhabited by Indians. Initially the Puritans tried hard to convert the Indians but they had failed. Consequently the forest, where the 'heathen' Indians lived was considered to be not just evil but the 'Devil's last preserve'. This belief contributed to all the uproar that was made about the girls being in the forest in the first place. The Puritans were very simple, hard working people who had virtually no pleasure in their lives.

    • Word count: 1511
  25. The Historical Background to the Crucible

    Thus, the belief of unnatural activities was not unusual. People commonly used accusations of witchery as a way to harm enemies. This is ironic, as Puritans believed they were 'perfect Catholics'. Petty differences soon led to the loss of lives, and the separation of families, via jail. To understand this, we must remember that the inhabitants of Salem believed in witches and the Devil, and the bible instructed that all witches were to be hanged. The issues that occurred in Salem strongly relate to the McCarthyism 'witch-hunt'. Arthur Miller wrote the play during these events.

    • Word count: 2588

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