Monday, November 1, 2010

Homework for 11/1/10

Answer the following "Death of a Salesman" questions:

  1. What does Willy's garden symbolize? Consider his American Dream and these lines he speaks: I've got to get some seeds. I've got to get some seeds, right away. Nothing's planted. I don't have a thing in the ground.
  2. Hap tries to give Linda flowers. She throws them to the ground. The director (Volker Schlöndorff) chose to have Willy pick them up and put them in a vase of water. Why do you suppose Schlöndorff makes this choice?
  3. How does Biff begin to represent "truth" in this play? Consider this line he speaks: I realized what a ridiculous lie my whole life has been.
  4. Why doesn't Willy want Biff to tell him the truth about the job he never had, or about being in jail?
  5. Consider the following lines: Biff: Pop! I'm a dime a dozen, and so are you!
    Willy: I am not a dime a dozen! I am Willy Loman, and you are Biff Loman!
    What does Biff mean? What does Willy mean? What is Arthur Miller (playwright) tell the audience literally and figuratively?
  6. Who changes in this play? Who does not change? What is Miller's point?
  7. Why does Willy die at the end? Does he commit suicide?

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