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Chapter 1 Life before the Great Depression
Chapter 2 Life for the family between October 1929, and January 1, 1930
Chapter 2 Life for the family between October, 1929 and January 1, 1930
Chapter 3 Life in Hooverville
Chapter 4 Life as a hobo
Chapter 5 How life finally improved
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You will be writing a response paper on the topic of your choice below. Remember, one page, one paragraph, one idea. Dig deep and yes, have textual evidence. Choose your paper topic by writing your name on the line next to the paper. ONE PERSON PER PAPER TOPIC. NO EXCEPTIONS. See example below.
How does Miller show Willy as a tragic hero?
In reviewing all the readings on The American Dream. What was Willy’s perception? How did his life play out in regard to the American Dream? Was his dream the same for himself and for Biff? If not, how did it differ for Biff? What was Biff’s perception of the American Dream? Where and how did Biff reach his perception of what the American Dream was?
_Eduardo Tawil Bee
Was Willy a victim of the “times? If yes, how so? How did society at the time play into his perception of reality and his ultimate demise? Give an overview of the times to explain your answer.
In what ways does Willy not fit into the definition of an average working man building a secure home for his family? In what ways does he represent Everyman? How does Willy represent more?
How does Miller use tension in the family to underscore Willy’s character? How does he use the stage set to influence the audience’s perception of the tension?
What is the turning point in Willy’s life? Is Willy the main character in this play or is Biff? Why? What does Biff discover about himself? How does this discovery affect his relationship with Willy? How is Biff’s self-realization dramatic? What is the climax of the play?
u -Who suffers the most from Willy’s delusions and why?
Does Linda help or hinder Willy in overlooking his small sales and his dishonest attempts to make them seem bigger? How does she influence Willy? Discuss Linda’s remark, “Attention – attention must finally be paid to such a man!” What is the effect of the switch in Linda’s speech to this very formal statement? Why does Miller use it?
How is Willy’s killing himself for the insurance money symptomatic of the way he has lived? What legacy does Willy leave his family?
- What is Willy’s dream? What is he searching for throughout the play? Why doesn’t he find it? Did he have a chance of fulfilling it? Did he have the wrong dream? Inappropriate attitudes? Is he a born loser, or does he stand in his own way to success, explain?
Does Biff’s antagonism cause Willy’s failure or merely intensify the failure he already experiences?
How does what Biff learn in Boston influence his life? Why can’t Biff be what his father wants him to be? Why does Biff steal things? Does Biff use Willy’s behavior as an excuse for his own waywardness? What does he say to Willy about the way he wants to live and what Willy expects of him?
iscuss the significance of Willy’s being a younger son with an absent father. How does that influence his behavior with his own sons? In what ways does Happy’s situation reflect Willy’s? How has Willy treated Biff? How is it different from the way he has treated Happy? Why is the athletic trophy in Willy’s room instead of in Biff ’s?
13. _ Compare the way Biff treats his father with the way Happy does. Why is it hard for Biff to tell Willy the truth? Why doesn’t Happy want him to?
-From the author’s description at the start of the play, what do we know about Linda? What can we guess? Does she know about the Woman in Boston? What makes you think she does or doesn’t? Why does she repeatedly enter with a load of wash?
- How does Ben affect Willy? How does he influence the events in the play?
16. _ Pedro Luis Ripoll_
Willy is proud of putting up the living-room ceiling and making a cement porch. How is the image of working with his hands carried through the play? Why is it significant?
Why does Miller let us know in the title that Willy’s death is coming? Why doesn’t he make it a surprise? Is Willy’s death in a car more or less appropriate than a suicide using the rubber hose on the water heater would be? Why? What harm does Willy’s death do? What good?
Discuss the irony of Linda’s last speech at the requiem.
Discuss the symbolism of the two heavy sample cases and the stockings. How does Miller use the characters’ names as symbols? What do they mean? What is the significance of Loman? Why Willy instead of Bill? What other symbols does Miller use and to what purpose?
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