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Death Of A Salesman
English III Final review
Terms in this set (28)
Why is Willy home? Why is Linda alarmed that he's home?
Willy is home because he felt he was going to crash because he couldn't concentrate on the road. Linda is alarmed because last time he came home early he actually crashed and she was scared it happened again.
Why is Willy annoyed at Biff? How does he describe Biff? What does this tell us about Willy?
Willy is annoyed with Biff because he does not have a steady job but he work on a farm, he's lazy but he works hard, moody but happy. Willy contradicts himself, which shows how he is incapable of having a steady mind.
How has the neighborhood changed? Why does it matter to the story that his surroundings are no longer the way they used to be?
The neighborhood use to be grass and open land but now it has houses and cars. It was better before everyone started building houses
How does Linda treat Willy? How do the boys feel about him? Is Biff trying to spite Willy? Why does Biff come home in the spring?
Linda treats Willy like another child. Willy put everything into Biff when they were young and Happy was over looked. Even as an adult Happy looks for his father's approval. The relationship with Biff is crushed when he finds out about the other woman. Biff came home in the spring because he failed his math course and he comes home to work when he has time
Why won't Happy go out West with Biff, and why won't Biff stay? Why doesn't either son get married and settle down?
Happy has a job in NY and he wants to stay with family. He also sleeps with his boss's wives and takes things to move up the ladder in the business. Willy is not happy that his sons do not want to get married but they want a woman to baby them like their mother.
How does Willy act toward the boys when they are young? How do they act toward him? How does Willy feel about Charley and Bernard?
Willy treats Biff like a star because of his athletic abilities and happy is in the shadow. They both admired their father when they were young. Willy thinks Bernard is going nowhere and he is jealous of Charley because he is successful
What does Willy's reaction to Biff's theft of the football tell us about Willy? He says the boys look like Adonises. What other clues show that Willy believes in appearances?
Willy just laughed and thought nothing when Biff stole a football. He figured that Biff needed something to practice with. This shows his favoritism toward Biff. Willy thinks that you have to be good looking and be well liked to be successful
Willy praises and then curses the Chevrolet; he tells Linda that he's very well liked, and then says that people don't seem to take to him. What do these inconsistencies tell us about Willy?
Willy contradicts himself and does not think with a clear mind.
"Five hundred gross in Providence" becomes "roughly two hundred gross on the whole trip." How does Linda take Willy's stories? What does this reveal about her? Why does Willy make a fuss about Linda's mending stockings? How is this important to the play?
Linda always says yes to Willy because she does not want to upset him or hurt his pride. Willy gets mad at Linda because she is mending her stockings instead of buying new ones. He gave the other woman her stockings and Willy feels really bad about it.
Why does Charley visit? How does he feel about Willy? How and why do they insult each other?
Charley hears about Willy and comes to talk to him. Charley pities Willy and offers him a job. Willy feels insulted because he does not want anyone to know he needs help. His pride is hurt from someone offering to help.
Who is Ben? Why does Ben appear? What does Willy think about the future? About the past? What does Ben teach Biff?
Ben is Willy's dead older brother that comes back in Willy's mind. Ben taught Willy that if you are well liked then you are successful. Ben is Willy's connection to his father and the past.
What does Linda think is the trouble with Willy's life? Why is she angry at her sons? Why does she put the rubber hose back after she had taken it? What does this tell about her?
Linda thinks that all of Willy's issues will be solved if he thinks he helped his sons be successful. Willy thinks he is a failure but in Linda's mind this is the problem. Linda is angry with her sons because they do not care about their father and they make him feel unwanted. Linda puts the hose back because she wants Willy to take it off himself. If she asked him about it to his face then it would hurt him even more. This shows how she cares for Willy; she always does what is best for him.
Why is Willy interested when Biff mentions Bill Oliver? Why do they argue? How does Happy try to capture attention?
Willy gets interested because he thinks Bill Oliver could fund his sporting store and give Biff some direction in life. The sons soon learn that Willy has been borrowing money to pay the bills because he is not a good salesman. Linda gets onto the boys for leaving their father in this time of need. Linda gives Biff a choice: to stay and respect his father or leave. Biff chooses to live in New York. Biff tells Linda Willy is a fake. Linda then tells Biff that Willy is trying to kill himself. Willy overhears the conversation and they start to argue.
Why is Willy's mood upbeat at the start of Act Two? What does he expect to happen?
Willy is so happy about his sons plan to open a sporting goods store. He thinks Biff will get the loan from Oliver and Willy will get the transfer job he has asked for. When Linda tells Willy that his sons want to take him to dinner he imagines Biff announcing he got the loan and him announcing he got the new job.
Why does Willy tell Howard about Dave Singleman? Describe the dramatic effect when Howard listens to the voices of his family while Willy tries to talk business. Why does Howard tell Willy to drop off his samples and forbid him to go to Boston? Why is this blow to Willy?
When Willy gets fired from the company he has worked for so long he refers to Dave Singleman. Dave inspired him to become a salesman in the very beginning. Dave has every aspect of being a salesman: He worked until he was 84, successfully earning his living as a salesman and very popular. Dave also represents how times have changed. Back in the day selling items was very personable but now everyone is out to get you so they can reach the top.
What is Willy's philosophy? How does Biff as a football hero embody his father's dreams? Why does Charley say Willy hasn't grown up?
Willy wants to live the American Dream. He thinks that you don't need hard work to get to where you want. Biff thinks highly of his dad but he knows he's not the best. Willy still has not become an adult mentally and still thinks about when he will become rich instead of going out and doing it.
What is Willy's impression of Bernard when he sees him in his father's office? Why does Willy exaggerate Biff's importance? Why does Bernard ask what happened after the game at Ebbets Field?
When Willy sees Bernard, he is in awe of him. Bernard is now a lawyer and has a case pending in D.C. Willy tried to say what all Biffs has accomplished but he gives up because there was no competition. After the game all of them agree that Biff flunked math and ruined his chances
Why won't Willy work for Charley? Why is Willy able to ask Charley for money? How is Charley's view of what a salesman needs different from Willy's view?
Willy will not work for Charley because he is stubborn and believes he is better than him. Willy then thinks that being popular brings value but Charley tells Willy it is the wealth that people are impressed with, not the person
In the restaurant, how does Happy reflect Willy's values? Why does Miller have the girls come in?
Happy reflects Willy's values by making the woman believe that he sells champagne and that Biff is a big football star. He is a womanizer just like Willy. When the boys leave the restaurant the girls go with them, which leaves Willy to think about everything going on in his life at the moment.
How does Biff's realization that his life is a lie underline the theme of the play? Why does Biff take Bill Oliver's fountain pen? Why can't he tell his father what happened with Bill Oliver? Why do Biff and Happy leave Willy at the restaurant?
Biff takes the pen, which is a metaphor for the American dream. It was his fathers dream for Biff but it was never achieved. This also means that people are never satisfied with what they have, they always want more no matter what it takes. The boys leave the restaurant because Willy embarrasses them. Biff cannot tell Willy this because Biff wants a good life and not struggle like his father did his whole life.
Why did Biff go to Boston? What does he discover when he sees the Woman? Why is it that Biff never went to summer school? Why can't he believe in his father?
Biff went to Boston because he wanted to see his father before he goes to college. When Biff sees the other woman with his father, he figures out that Willy is really a fake. Willy is knocked off the pedestal he held his father on. Biff never went to summer school because he has given up on success (him and family).
Why does Linda tell the boys, "Get out of here, both of you, and don't come back!"?
She is mad because they left him at the steak house. But without Biff and Happy then Willy has nothing left. Willy wont be able to move on and find another solution.
Why does Willy keep planting seeds where they've never grown before? Why does Willy think Biff will be impressed with his funeral? Why does Ben say that Biff will call Willy a fool?
Willy did not want to give up on his dreams and he wanted to have some kind of memory for when he dies. Willy wants a lot of people to come to his funeral so Biff will be impressed because of all the people there. Biff comes to realize that popularity is not he best quality
Why doesn't Willy want to see Linda? Why does he think Biff is spiting him? Why does Biff show him the rubber hose?
Willy is embarrassed because of his actions. He finally comes to the realization of the impact his actions caused in Act II. Biff really wants his father to realize that greatness is not part of their family. Biff shows him the hose because he wants Willy to see that it is not meant to be. Willy also realizes that his sons are as doomed as he is.
What does Biff do that elates Willy? How does Happy try to attract Willy's attention? How does Ben influence Willy at this point?
Biff realizes that everything he has thought about his entire life is a lie. Willy thinks Biff is saying this stuff in spite of him. Biff then cries for his father even though Willy does not know what is going on due to the state of mind he is in. Happy then cuts in trying to get attention but just like always he is ignored. Happy then says he will not let his father die in vain. Ben was the only one that tried to keep Willy from killing himself but at the end Ben says it is the only way to leave a legacy for Biff.
What is a requiem? What is the purpose of this final act? To what extent is it successful?
A requiem is a speech that celebrates the dead. This part is the end of the play where the truth of Willy is told. Willy's death is an ironic end to his life.
Charley says: "No man only needs a little salary." To what is he referring? What else does a man need?
Linda does not understand that for a man like Willy, a salary is more than just paying bills. The money that Willy brings in shows how successful he is which feeds his confidence and ego.
Explain the irony of Linda's last speech
The irony is in the end of the speech when she says "we're free". The last payment is made so they are out of financial debt. This is a tragic time for the family because Willy has just died but it is also a very happy moment because they are out of debt, which they have tried to be their whole lives. Since Willy is dead, he is not there to experience the joy that Linda has.
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