DEATH OF A SALESMAN 8
The play death of a sales man by Arthur Miller is based on the livesof an everyday American man who lets his dreams misguide him to anextent that he commits suicide. This study paper discusses the playprotagonist Willy and his family and event that led to his committingof suicide. As the paper discusses each character it reveals thingsabout the characters and about how most men were blinded by theAmerican dream.
What happened to Willy (that he could not control)? Give words,phrases etc
Willy committed suicide in hope that by doing so he would save hisfamily, the insurance money paid after his death would help hisfamily set up a new business. Even though Willy was full in controlof his actions he had a mental problem of controlling his thoughtswhich mislead him to strive toward fortune and fame (Miller, 1978).
In Act II Willy contemplates committing suicide in order to benefithis family
“After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments,and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive.”
Willy, Act II
What negative actions or behaviors did Willy Display?
From the description given by Linda we learn that Willy has badtemper and is a little cruel in addition his values depict negativebehavior for example Willy valued popularity over acceptance andunable to appreciate significant things in his life like family.Adultery is another negative behavior displayed by Willy
Describe Linda and how she interacted with Willy, Biff and Happy
Linda is a loyal wife who is blinded by her love to Willy herhusband, like her husband she also believe that happiness can only befound through having material wealth. Linda is hopeful that thingswill be better and give support to her husband. To her sons Biff andHappy she is very resolute, confident and stern.
What does Happy reveal about himself
That his name is an irony and he is actually not happy as it suggest,the reason for this is because his desire are not satisfied a desireto have a wife and successful business. In addition happy revealsthat in his father’s eyes he always ranked second after Biff whichis the reason desired so much to please his father. In addition tothis, happy reveals that he has a misguided delusion on what to do tobecome happy and holds on persistently to this misbelieve to the end.
What does Biff reveal about himself
Biff reveals a lot about himself, we learn that unlike his brotherand father he just wanted a simple life. He reveals to us that thereason he could not hold on to a job was because of his father doingwho trained him to be so arrogant that he can never be respectable tohis boss.
What does Ben reveal about Wiley’s family and his father leaving his children
When Ben was alive he influenced the way Willy was to raise his twosons. Additionally, he influenced Willy to think that fortune can beattained at any age since he became rich at the age of 21. Moreover,Ben cheated in a game with Biff and showed Biff that he should doanything to win. Willy fails his family by trying to live as Benwould have wanted him too and thus end up neglecting his family andhaving wrong priorities.
How did Willy childhood influence his life
At the age of three year Willy’s father abandoned them and laterhis elder brother who was his hero also left in search of theirfathers and landed in Africa where he landed a fortune. The lack of afather figure turned Willy into unconfident man thus the reason hewanted his brother to visit more often and instill in his sons betterqualities. Additionally, as a child Willy was taught by his elderbrother that wealth was very important thus the reason he has so manyfantasies of getting rich.
List some good business advice Willy gave his son
The advice that the key to success is to be friendly to people is agood business advice. A business man with customers who like him hasconsistent number of customers who always come back.
List some bad business advice Willy gave his sons
The bad advice is that success is attained by luck and popularitythis is a lie, success is a product of hard work and tirelessambition.
Bernad is a foil to Biff explain and give example
By showing Biff the answers rather than showing him how to get themBernad prevent Biff from passing in math. When he visit Willy homesaying Biff will fail in month he agrees with Willy to help Biffcheat in exam.
Describe three Flashback in the play what do you learn
The first flashback is in Act 1 when Willy flashes back to time inthe past when he hoped to be a successful business man and father,
“someday I’ll have my own business, and I’ll never have toleave home anymore.”
Another flashback is in Act 2 whereby Willy is seeking advice fromhis brother Ben after meeting Howard. In this Flashback Willybelieves that Ben was always successful and thus should tell him whathe should do next. Willy regrets not accepting Bens offer to travelwith him and feels ashamed for losing his job.
Willy say people laugh at him why
Because he is too fat
Charley say Willy died the “Death of a salesman.” What did he mean?
That a sales man life is based on dreams and Willy committed suicidethinking that his death would profit his family, he ended his lifeso that his family would get money.
Linda says “And the boys willy few are idolized by their children the you are.” Do you agree? Explain.
No because this only lasted when the boys were young when they grewup they had no respect to their father and were rude to him.
How does Linda characterize Willy
As a handsome husband, who she believes will one day be successful,as good faithful husband and a good father.
Biff says Because he is fake…’Explain
Biff say that the reason his father threw him out is because he wasfake and did not like Biff because he knew the truth about him beinga failure.
“…because the woods are burning boys you understand? What is Willy saying
In saying this Willy is trying to forget his past stories. He hasbeen fired from his job and woods is burning is metaphor that hislife is falling apart.
Requiem A. what does Charley say about Willy that emphasizes the key theme of the play?
That Willy should not be blamed for his action of taking his own lifebecause he lived the life of a sales man and a sales man has to dreamand if his dream is dying in order for his family to be rich so beit.
Requiem. How do Biff and happy react? Which characters is static and which is dynamic
Willy’s son are saddened by his death Happy believes that Willy hadno right to commit suicide while Biff thinks his father had wrongdreams. Biff is dynamic he is ready to change while his brother isstatic because he still want to live the life lived by his father.
What does Biff plan to do.
Biff plans to go to the rural areas and leave the city.
What does Happy plan to do
Happy plans to stay and fulfill his father dream
Describe Willy’s funeral (compare it to Dave Singleman’s funeral).
Only Charley a family friend attended Willy funeral all the peoplethat Willy knew none come compared to Dave Singleman funeral whichwas attended by many people.
How does Linda react to Willy’s death?
Linda is devastated and thinks believes that in the end her husbandfound peace since he was free from the desire of wanting to be rich.Linda can’t comprehend why her husband committed suicide.
Biff revealed much about himself and Willy in the scene prior to Willy getting into his car and crashing (when he confronted Willy about his attempts at suicide). Summarize what he told Willy and the effect reality had on Willy
Biff revealed that he was a thief and had even served a jail term forstealing. In addition he revealed that he loved his father and wantedhim to change and abandon his American dream. About Willy we learnthat he was blinded by his desire to success to an extent that whenhe failed he transferred his dream to his son Biff thus the reason hecommits suicide for his son to get insurance money to start abusiness.
Do you think Willy was a victim of society or that his actions and beliefs caused his tragedies briefly state why?
Willy was a victim of his own doing his believes and dreams weremisguided he wanted success without working for it.
Miller, A. (1978). Death of a salesman: (Engelsklærerforeningensudgaver). Gyldendal – 4. udgave, 5. oplag.