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Death of a Salesman
Transcript of Death of a Salesman
Willy Loman + Biff Loman
The other characters
The American Dream
Willy and Charley
Vocab and expressions Act 1
- to simonize
verb (used with object), si·mon·ized, si·mon·iz·ing.
to shine or polish to a high sheen, especially with wax: to simonize an automobile.
What a simonizing job.
dejected; dispirited; discouraged.
having a drooping crest or head.
Mockery: noun, plural mock·er·ies.
Open sesame for all of us
Mare and a new colt
V36: In groups discuss any possible themes that you discovered while reading, take notes based on your group's discourse.
start discussing in groups and filling in the spidergrams for each character based on your first impression of them.
In groups discuss your assigned question(s) and write down your answers.
1. Does Willy fit into the pattern of a hero? Why/why not?
2. Have a look at the ambiguity of Willy´s first line? How can this be interpreted
3. “…mountains out of molehills” (p7) Is he inventing his difficulties or what is the cause of his unusual behavior?
4. Willy clearly idealizes Biff, but at the same time he accuses Biff of being lazy. How is this to be interpreted?
5. Have a look at the changes in stages directions when Willy´s dreaming about the past (p15ff) also, check the directions before the play starts.
6. To whom is the woman’s laughter (p23) directed? Willy? Linda? Both?
7. What is the woman’s attitude towards Willy? Why did she ”pick” him?
8. Willy gives stockings to both women, but he gets angry when he sees Linda mending hers. Why?
9. In what way does the scene with Bernard, plus previous the woman, tell us things about Willy´s personality?
10. p. 27-29 Willy daydreams of the life he might have had if he’d worked with Ben. Charley comes and he and Willy start to play cards.
a) “The world is an oyster, but you don’t crack it open on a mattress!” (p27)What does he mean?
b) Further down the same page, he also says: “The woods are burning!” how can this be interpreted?
11. p. 29-35 Willy plays card with Charley, but conducts a conversation with Ben. Charley leaves and Ben talks about success.
a) Describe the relation between Wily and Ben. Differences/similarities?
b) “I don’t play that kind of game!” (p31) With reference to Willy´s character, how interpret this statement? Also, has Ben’s statement to Biff (p53) anything to do with it? “Never fight fair with a stranger, boy. You’ll never get out of the jungle that way.”
c) Are there any examples of “manly behavior” in this section?
12. p. 36-49 Willy’s plans to commit suicide have been discovered, Linda defends him and the family decides on a business plan.
a) Take a look at Linda´s “defense speech” of Willy (p39-40) Is he as tragic as Linda suggests or is he a victim of circumstances? Are the sons responsible?
b) Read p 43-46 and discuss if Willy is a fake. How can you tell? What does he say? Do they listen to him?
c) Have a look at Biff’s actions during these pages; in order to restore family happiness he decides on starting a family business, which will please Willy and calm Linda down, However, he’s acting for the sake of other people and not himself. He also takes care of the rubber piping. Is he trying to make up for past behavior and be the model son, or? Do we believe in him?
Happy: Sure, the guy's in line for the vice presidency of the store. I don't know what gets into me, maybe I just have an over-developed sense of competition or something, but I went and ruined her, and furthermore I can't get rid pf her. And he's the third executive I've done that to. Isn't that a crummy characteristic? And to top it all, I go to their weddings!
1."They broke the mold when they made her"- Happy to biff about their mother
2. "We want to blow him a big meal"- Biff and Happy to their mother about Willy
3. "He's only a little boat looking for a harbor"- Linda to Biff about Willy
4. "We got quite a little streak of self-reliance in our family" Willy to Howard
5. "Cause what would be more satisfying than to be able to got, at the age of 84 into 20 or 30 different cities, and pick up a phone, and be remembered and loved and helped by so many different people?" Willy on why he became a salesman
6. "If at first you don't succeed ..."
7. Charley to Willy
"why must everyone like you?"
Study Questions Act 2
13. p. 50-54 Willy decides on a non-travelling job. The boys are planning a meal in a restaurant to mark the launch of their business.
a) Willy’s in a pretty good mood during these pages. How can you tell? Find examples of a confident Willy.
b) Have a look at what Linda does and says to Willy during their conversation, and what she says to Biff about Willy.
14. p. 54-61 Willy fails to persuade his boss to give him a non-travelling job despite his desperate emotional plea.
a) How would you describe the scene where Willy meets Howard? Is Willy still as confident as earlier?
b) “This is no time for false pride, Willy.” (p. 61). Is Howard the only person who tells Willy the truth about himself?
15. p. 61-66 Willy dreams of the old days when Biff was a sporting success, but Ben reminds him that he has nothing to show for his life so far
On p. 62, Linda and Willy suggest that Willy’s “building something” with the firm, but Ben asks: “What are you building?” A main part of the American Dream is the pioneers´ ambition to settle down and build their own home as well as making a fortune out in the wilderness, just as Ben did. Willy, however, is tossed between this idea and a family life and thus not fulfilling the American Dream. Or what is it?
16. p. 66-73 Willy meets Bernard and begs for money from his father, Charley.
Why doesn’t Willy accept the job Charley offers him?
En klok ord av rådgivning till de studenter som tror att Google översätter är det bästa sedan skivat bröd.
Det är alltid bättre att välja att skriva på ren svenska, än att komponera ett smärtsamt avancerad text på ditt modersmål och sedan köra det genom gatlopp av Google Translate.
För nu, förutsatt att denna teknologi till oss av våra vänner på Google, är inte tillräckligt avancerad för att uppnå flyt, och det gör det näst intill omöjligt för läsaren att följa en text med lätthet.
Mitt råd till dig är att ta en gammal skola metod, enkelt uttryckt dike tekniken eftersom oavsett om du tror mig eller inte, du är mycket bättre på flyt än Google translate, åtminstone för nu!
A wise word of advice to those students that think google translate is the best thing since sliced bread.
It is always better to choose to write in plain English, than to compose a painfully advanced text in your native language and then run it through the gauntlet of google translate.
For now, this technology provided to us by our friends at google, is not advanced enough to achieve fluency, and it makes it next to impossible for the reader to follow a text with ease.
My advice to you is to take an old school approach, simply put ditch the technology because regardless if you believe me or not, you are much better at fluency than Google translate, at least for now!
What do the characters want?
What do they get?
What do they do?
IF money didn't matter for Biff, Willy and Happy?
In the requiem, what do Biff and Happy decide?
House in the country
I will buy you a new life
I'm coming home
5 songs for
Suggested songs for close reading comparative essay inspirations
The declaration of Independence