Death of A Salemsman- AQA A-level

This resource is about Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller

  • Created by: DunnillE
  • Created on: 11-04-19 12:56
Stage Directions on the first page of the play, it has a pastoral feel, Juxtaposes the urban landscape, Internal conflict: Materialism vs Nature
"A melody is heard, played upon a flute,"
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Stage directions, Trapped => Opressive, Low down in society, Dwarfing the house to show insignificance & represents lack of success.
"aware of towering, angluar shapes behind it, surrounding it on all sides."
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Stage Directions, Symbolic, Emotions- Implied happiness or past happiness, Contrasts to outside expectations, Showing it is the external factors that make Willy unhappy.
"blue light of the sky"
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Stage directions, Symbolic, Anger and Frustration, Foreshadowing of the opression of capitalist landscape, Industrial colours.
"an angry glow of orange."
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Stage directions, Connotes => Prison, entrapment, and money.
"solid vault of apartment houses"
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Stage directions, About to break- may be link to characters Symbolic Home instead of house, Security Emotional vs materialism.
"fragile seeming home."
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Stage directions, Simplistic, Lomans having money problems, Lonlieness and separated from others.
"there is a kitchen table with three chairs, and a refrigerator. But no other fixtures are seen,"
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Stage directions, Clinging to the past (or past success), What might have been
"a silver althletic trophy stands."
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Stage Directions, Not the American Dream, Isolated from others, Hidden from the audience but still present, The boys have grown up and left.
"the boys' bedroom, at present barely visable. Two beds are dimly seen,"
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Stage directions, Secrets being revealed, Symbolic, Foreshadows the Lomans' secrets coming out e.g. how Willy tries to kill himself
"The entire setting is wholly or, in some places, partially transparent."
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Stage directions, Separated from others Capitalism = Loneliness, Only look after yourself and your own.
"The roof-line of the house is one-dimensional;"
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Stage directions, Separates the past from the present in play, making things clearer for the audience, More freedom in the past.
"in the scenes of the past these boundaries are broken, and characters enter or leave a room by stepping 'through' a wall on to the forestage."
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Stage directions, Money problems or simplistic, May be trying to earn more money, first description of Willy
"He [Willy] is past sixty years of age, dressed quietly."
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Stage directions, description of Willy in Act 1, Tired may be due to problems or working to hard Will affect other characters
"his exhaustion is apparent."
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Stage directions, description of Willy, Only place he feels at ease, Problems for the Lomans, Emotional and physical burdens
"lets his burden down,"
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Stage direction, Willy - act 1, Frustration, Feeling drained, Overworked
"word-sigh escapes his lips - it might be >> Oh, boy, oh, boy.<<"
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Stage directions, Linda (Willy's wife), She is used to Willy's behaviour Iron Repression- Shows very little emotion, keeps things bottled up inside.
"she [Linda] has developed an iron repression of her exceptions to WILLY's behaviour"
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Act 1-LINDA says this to WILLY, Willy has done this before, Sense of problems presented.
"You didn't smash the car, did you?"
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Act 1- WILLY says this Repetition of the sense of exhaustion, Foreshadows Willy's death @ the end of the play.
"I'm tired to the death."
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Act 1- WILLY to LINDA, Lack of clarity shown by rephrasing showing uncertainty. Fast pace feel, repetition.
"'s me, it's me. Suddenly I realize I'm goin' sixty miles an hour and I don't remember the last five minutes. I'm- I can't seem to- keep my mind to it."
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Act 1- LINDA TO WILLY, Trying to fix Willy, suggests it isn't him. Denial
"Maybe it's your glasses. You never went for your new glasses."
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Act 1- LINDA TO WILLY, Again Linda is trying to fix Willy by offering other reasons why things are going wrong for him, Denial
"Your mind is over-active, and the mind is what counts dear."
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Act 1- WILLY TO LINDA, Willy is interested when he speaks longer and isn't so many pauses in his speech here. The stage direction is interesting since it dictates how Willy feels about the countryside.
"WILLY [with wonder]: ... You can imagine, me looking at scenery, on the road every week of my life. But it's so beautiful up there, Linda, the trees are so thick, and the sun is warm. I opened the windshield and just let the warm air bathe over me."
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Act 1- WILLY TO LINDA, Showing Willy is losing his ability to focus. Willy is presented as fragile and a danger to himself and others.
"And then all of a sudden I'm going off the road! I'm tellin' ya, I absolutely forgot I was driving."
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Act 1- Willy to Linda, Willy trails off leaving things the imagination Shows he is emotionally fragile and stressed, Hints at committing suicide
"...five minutes later I'm dreamin' again, and I nearly - [He presses two fingers against his eyes.] I have such thoughts, I have such strange thoughts."
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Act 1- Linda to Willy,Linda is trying to help by trying to find solutions for Willy, She is in denial about Willy's health.
"Willy, dear. Talk to them again. There's no reason why you can't work in New York."
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Act 1- Willy to Linda, Capitalist views, Shows Willy's disappointment at Biff and their strained relationship.
"When the hell did I lose my temper? I simply asked him if he was making any money. Is that a criticism?"
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Act 1- Willy to Linda, Shows anger between Willy and Biff.
"There's such an undercurrent in him. He became a moody man."
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Act 1- Willy to Linda, Willy's capitalist views are shown. Theme of money, Anger at Biff
"How can he find himself on a farm? Is that a life? A farmhand? In the beginning, whe he was young, I thought, well, a young man, it's good for him to tramp around, take a lot of different jobs. But it's more than ten years now and he has yet to make
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Act 1- an exchange between Willy and Linda,Stichomythia (dialogue in which two characters speak alternate lines of verse, used as a stylistic device in ancient Greek drama) Capitalist view Fast pace Almost child like in Willy's speech.
"LINDA: Shh! WILLY: The trouble is he's lazy, goddammit! LINDA: Willy, please!" WILLY: Biff is a lazy bum!"
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Act 1- Linda to Willy,Repetition in Linda's speech. Theme of being lost. Sense of Linda being unsure.
"I think he's still lost, Willy. I think he's very lost."
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Act 1- Willy to Linda, Shows that Willy values attractiveness Willy contridicts himself as he has previously said Biff was "a lazy bum" Shows a state of confusion.
"Biff Loman is lost. In the greatest country in the world a young man with such- personal attractiveness, gets lost. And such a hard worker. There's one thing about Biff- he's not lazy."
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Act 1- Willy to Linda, Admiration of appearance Willy believes what really matters in how people view each other Willy falls into the past.
"My God! Remember how they used to follow him around high school? When he smiled at one of them their faces lit up. When he walked down the street... [He loses himself in reminiscences.]"
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Act 1- Willy to Linda, Willy feels trapped. Shows that Willy isn't in a clear state of mind as he doesn't realize the windows were open already.
"WILLY: Why don't you open a window in here, for God's sake? LINDA: [with infinite patience] They're all open dear. WILLY: The way they boxed us in here. Bricks and windows, windows and bricks."
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Act 1- Willy to Linda, Willy goes back into the past. This might be hinting that Willy seeks refuge in the past as it was a happier time for him. Shows Willy wants to go back to nature as he seems to speak about it with elegance.
"There's not a breath of fresh air in the neighbourhood. The grass don't grow any more... They should have laws against apartment houses. Remember those two beautiful elm trees out there? When I and Biff hung swings on them?"
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Act 1- Willy to Linda, Angry and sad that the area that Willy lives in has been drained of the plants around it. Willy loses himself in memories, he wants to go back to simpler time.
"They should've arrested the builder for cutting those down. They massacred the neighbourhood. [Lost] More and more I think of those days, Linda. This time of year it was lilac and wistaria. And then the peonies would come out, and the daffodils.
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Act 1- Willy to Linda, Capitalism mentioned through competition. Idea that Willy feels trapped due to the number of people out in the world trying to achieve the same things he is trying to achieve.
"There's more people! That's what's ruining this country! Population is getting out of control. The competition is maddening! Smell the stink from that apartment house!
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Act 1- Willy to Linda, Willy seems to care about Linda here but later in the play the reader find out Willy had an affair, Willy knows that he is not 100% there so he doesn't want Linda worrying, the quote suggests Willy is hiding things from her
"WILLY [turning to LINDA, guiltily]: You're not worried about me, are you sweetheart?"
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Act 1- Willy to Linda, Willy contradicts himself as he is once again changing his mind about Biff. He says Biff will be fine.
"WILLY: I won't fight him [Biff] any more. If he wants to go back to Texas, let him go. LINDA: He'll find his way. WILLY: Sure. Certain men just don't get started til later in life... I'll put my money on Biff."
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Act 1- Willy to Linda, Contradicts himself as he believes Biff will be successful, idea of success being the most important thing
"...Certain men just don't get started till later in life...I'll put my money on Biff."
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Act 1- Conversation between Linda and Willy shows Willy's lack of awareness. Part 1
"LINDA: ...we'll drive in the country. And we'll open the windshield, and take lunch. WILLY: No, the windshields don't open on the new cars. LINDA: But you opened it today."
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Act 1- Part 2, Willy to Linda, shows that Willy is confused, the flute is associated with Willy's mental state and memories.
"Me? I didn't. [He stops.] Now isn't that peculiar! Isn't that a remarkable- [He breaks off in amazement and fright as the flute is heard distantly.]"
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Act 1- Happy to Biff, shows a common problem Willy causes
"Jesus, maybe he smashed up the car again!"
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Act 1- Stage Directions introducing Willy's sons, shows manliness and ideal american man
"Biff is two years older than his brother Happy, well built, but in these days bears a worn air and seems less self-assured...his dreams are stronger and less acceptable than Happy's. Happy is tall, powerfully made... He, like his brother, is lost,"
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


"aware of towering, angluar shapes behind it, surrounding it on all sides."


Stage directions, Trapped => Opressive, Low down in society, Dwarfing the house to show insignificance & represents lack of success.

Card 3


"blue light of the sky"


Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


"an angry glow of orange."


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


"solid vault of apartment houses"


Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards


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