English- Death of a salesman

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  • Created on: 13-12-10 19:35

Death Of A Salesman

Key Facts

full title  ·  Death of a Salesman:

author  · Arthur Miller

genre  · Tragedy, social commentary, family drama

climax  · The scene in Frank’s Chop House and Biff’s final confrontation with Willy at home

protagonists  · Willy Loman, Biff Loman

antagonists  · Biff Loman, Willy Loman, the American Dream

setting (time)  · “Today,” that is, the present; either the late 1940s or the time period in which the play is being produced, with “daydreams” into Willy’s past; all of the action takes place during a twenty-four-hour period between Monday night and Tuesday night, except the “Requiem,” which takes place, presumably, a few days after Willy’s funeral

setting (place)  · According to the stage directions, “Willy Loman’s house and yard [in Brooklyn] and . . . various places he visits in . . . New York and Boston”

falling action  · The “Requiem” section, although the play is not really structured as a classical drama

tense  · Present

foreshadowing  · Willy’s flute theme foreshadows the revelation of his father’s occupation and abandonment; Willy’s preoccupation with Linda’s stockings foreshadows his affair with The Woman; Willy’s automobile accident before the start of Act I foreshadows his suicide at the end of Act II

tone  · The tone of Miller’s stage directions and dialogue ranges from sincere to parodying, but, in general, the treatment is tender, though at times brutally honest, toward Willy’s plight

Act I

Opening scene to Willy’s first daydream

Willy’s first daydream to the first appearance of The Woman

After The Woman’s laughter through Ben’s first appearance in Willy’s daydream

From Ben’s departure through the closing scene

Act II

Opening scene through scene in Howard’s office

Willy’s daydream involving Ben through Willy’s conversation with Charley in his office

The scene in Frank’s Chop House

Boston hotel room daydream through Willy’s departure from Frank’s Chop House

The boys’ confrontation with Linda, Biff’s final confrontation with Willy, and Willy’s decision to take a late-night drive



He’s a man way out there in the blue . . . A salesman is got to dream, boy.

(See Important Quotations Explained)

To Linda’s considerable chagrin and bewilderment, Willy’s family, Charley, and Bernard are the only mourners who attend Willy’s funeral. She wonders where all his supposed business friends are and how he could have killed himself when they were so close to paying off all of their bills. Biff recalls that Willy seemed happier working on the house than he did as a salesman. He states that Willy had all the wrong dreams and that he didn’t know who he was in the way that Biff now knows who he is. Charley replies that a salesman has to dream or he is lost, and he explains the salesman’s undaunted optimism in the face of certain defeat as a function of his irrepressible dreams of selling himself. Happy becomes increasingly angry at Biff’s observations. He resolves to stay in the city and carry




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Thank you so much

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