Death of a Salesman review-(complete in comp books) Death of a Salesman

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Death of a Salesman review-(complete in comp books)
Death of a Salesman was written by Arthur Miller in 1949, and is set both in Yonkers, New York, and inNew England during the same time period.

Topics for discussion -

Political climate (What major conflicts was the U.S. involved in? Who was president and howdid he approach these conflicts?)

News Events (Which events appeared in the national news at this time?)

Family infrastructure (What roles did men and women have in the home or in society? Werethese roles the way they had always been or were they changing?)

Economy (Consider comparing costs of familiar items [milk, gas, food, rent, etc.] to help putthings in perspective. Was the U.S. economy healthy or not?)

Style and Fashion (What were some types of clothing, hairstyles, prevalent during thetime period?)

Task 1 -

In the stage directions that open Act One, Arthur Miller clearly delineates the setting of the initial scene. Using Miller’s description, draw or make a model of the stage. Pay close attention to detail andbe sure to include the following details in your model or drawing:

Task 2 Character sketch – monologue or bullets ( select one of the main characters)

Task 3 - Act 2 review questions – look back in the script if you need to.

1.Why is Willy in such a good mood at the start of Act Two? What event is he anticipating?

2. Who is Dave Singleman and how has he served as an inspiration for Willy?

3. What is Willy’s impression of Bernard when he sees him in Charley’s office? How is this ironic?

4. Why won’t Willy work for Charley?

5. Explain Biff’s realization that his life is a lie.

6. Why did Biff go to Boston? What does he discover there?

7. Why does Willy think Biff will be impressed with his funeral?

8. What does Biff intend to do when he tries to get his father to go inside and see Linda? Why does Willy

refuse to do so?

9. What does Charley explain about Willy’s profession that removes him from blame?

10. Explain the irony of Linda’s last speech.
Task 4 - Statements that Reflect Societal Beliefs discussion

• “To suffer fifty weeks of the year for the sake of a two-week vacation, when all you really

desire is to be outdoors, with your shirt off. And always have to get ahead of the next fella.

And still—that’s how you build a future.” (Pg. 22)

• “That’s why I thank the Almighty God you’re both built like Adonises. Because the man who

makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the

man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want.” (Pg. 33)

• “Never fight fair with a stranger, boy. You’ll never get out of the jungle that way.” (Pg. 49)

• “…because it’s not what you do, Ben. It’s who you know and the smile on your face! It’s

contacts, Ben, contacts!” (Pg. 86)

• “No man only needs a little salary.” (Pg.138)

• “It’s the only dream you can have—to come out the number one man.” (Pg.139)


Task 5 Essay
Which character in the play is the most heroic, compassionate, sacrificing ...? Who makes the most sacrifices; who tries the hardest to hold the family together? Who in the play is most in touch with reality?

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