Class Notes (905,998)
CA (538,586)
UTSG (45,722)
CSC (765)
CSC495H1 (31)
all (31)
Reference Guide

Death of a Salesman - Reference Guides

2 Pages
264 Views

Department
Computer Science
Course Code
CSC495H1
Professor
all

This preview shows half of the first page. Sign up to view the full 2 pages of the document.
TM
permacharts
permacharts.com
• A foil is a character who can be compared to and contrasted
with another character
Death Of A Salesman
• Two act play with a requiem; there are no scene divisions
(scenes have been added to make it easier to follow the plot)
Occurs in the 48 hours after Willy Loman has returned home
early from a sales trip
Written in a style which blends the past with the present,
eliminating boundaries of time and space
Published and produced in 1949
Won the Pulitzer Prize in 1949
Born 1915 in Harlem, New York
Wrote many plays, essays, and a novel; also directed plays
DEATH OF A SALESMAN
STRUCTURE
ARTHUR MILLER
Just the Facts Symbols
• A waiter at Frank’s Chop House who chats with Happy and
Willy
• Minor character
The two women who are picked up by Happy in a restaurant
• Minor characters
The woman with whom Willy had his affair in Boston
• Minor character; however, she has a significant impact on the
plot development
Willy’s dead brother; appears in the play
• Embodies the epitome of success to Willy; he is wealthy and
well-liked (he acquired his wealth almost instantly, which is
what fascinates Willy the most about his success)
• Embodies Willy’s desire for escape; according to Willy, he had
all the answers
Willy’s boss at the Wagner company
• Son of the original owner whom Willy once knew
• Puts Willy on straight commission once his sales decrease
• Fires Willy without compassion or regard to his history
• Charley’s secretary
• Minor character
• Son of Charley and neighbor of the Lomans
• Foil to childhood friend, Biff
• Bernard is an extremely successful attorney; he achieved his
success through hard work
• Next-door-neighbor and very close friend of the Lomans
• Successful businessman; he achieved his success through
hard work
• Loans Willy money each month after he is put on commission
• Father to Bernard; foil to Willy
• 32-year-old son of Willy and Linda, brother to Biff
Admires and defends Biff
• Works in a department store; he is waiting to become the
merchandise manager
• He wants the American Dream (i.e., a house, a car, a wife)
• Feels rejected by Willy who favors Biff over Happy
Womanizer; he cannot settle down emotionally
• 34-year-old son of Willy and Linda, brother to Happy
• Lived and worked on a ranch; he came home to find
something else
All-American football star in high school
• Never graduated from high school; failed math
• Since high school, he has gone wrong (e.g., he stole a suit,
went to jail)
• Acquires enhanced self-knowledge throughout the play;
he sees his own shortcomings
• Rejects Willy Loman as a phony
• Sympathetic, loyal, and downtrodden wife of Willy; mother to
Biff and Happy
• Embodies values of a stay-at-home American woman
• Insists on maintaining Willys respect
• Encourages Willy to deceive and lie to save his pride
• Makes her sons feel guilty for not taking care of Willy
• Manages the household; organizes the finances and budget
• Protagonist and modern tragic hero
• Husband to Linda, father to Biff and Happy
• 63 years old; travelling salesman for the Wagner firm
• Placed on straight commission; he is deemed to be less
valuable to the company
• Talks to himself; his talks are often directed at Biff or his dead
brother, Ben
• Lacks self-knowledge; never admits to failure
• Immature; he has a strong desire to be liked
• Loves his family; however, he cheats on his wife, Linda
WILLY LOMAN
Characters
Themes
• Bernard and Biff grew up together without the advantage of
inherited money
• Bernard achieves the American Dream and becomes a
successful lawyer, while Biff is a failure
• Charley is a successful, hard-working, self-made man
• He contrasts with his neighbor, Willy, who is an unsuccessful,
ineffectual travelling salesman
• Howard is the wealthy, young inheritor and boss of the Wagner
company
• He contrasts greatly with Biff, Willy Lomans unsuccessful,
misguided son
Foils
HOWARD & BIFF
CHARLEY & WILLY
BERNARD & BIFF
LINDA LOMAN
BIFF LOMAN
HAROLD HAPPYLOMAN
CHARLEY
BERNARD
JENNY
HOWARD WAGNER
BEN
MISS FRANCIS
MISS FORSYTHE & LETTA
STANLEY
• As the suburbs are eaten up by the enlarging city, trees are
eventually replaced by ugly apartment blocks, as seen from
Willy’s backyard
• Cars, furnaces, recording machines, and refrigerators become
integral parts of society; they do not come with guarantees and
often break down
• Memories of rural America are suggested through the flute
music that is associated with Willy’s father, a pioneering flute
maker
• Willy is a modern tragic hero, similar to Shakespeare’s
King Lear and Oedipus
• He falls due to a tragic error; Willy’s error is being blinded by
the myth of the American Dream
• This modern tragic hero is a common man, rather than a king
or a great man
• Willy travels through ignorance, suffering, and enlightenment
• Unfortunately, his enlightenment (i.e., that his death is more
valuable to his family than his life) is realized through his
eventual suicide
• Examines the elusive yearning for the American Dream
The advantages and disadvantages of the American Dream are
explored; consider ambition, drive, and inherited wealth vs.
mortgages, loans, extramarital affairs, and suicide attempts
Elements of the American Dream are de-mythologized;
the ideal car, house and family of four do not bring happiness
AMERICAN DREAM
MODERN TRAGIC HERO
TECHNOLOGY VS. RURAL AMERICA
• Issues of fatherhood are explored (e.g., leaving a legacy or an
inheritance, blind adoration of one’s children)
• Biff rejects his father’s philosophy of life, while Happy supports
and mimics it
• Three father/son pairs are provided in the play (i.e., Charley
and Bernard, Wagner and Howard, Willy and his boys)
FATHERHOOD
Symbol of infidelity and declining prosperity
Willy Loman sells stockings for a living
• Linda Loman mends her stockings, which makes Willy
uncomfortable; he gives them freely to his mistress
Epitomizes the mechanization of American society
• Howard Wagners favorite new invention (at the beginning of
Act Two) plays back the voices of Howard’s wife and children
Parallels Willys internal voices and symbolizes his breakdown;
the voices lead to his mental degeneration
Music has major significance in the play
Leitmotifs (i.e., particular pieces of music used to represent
certain characters or moods) are used to introduce and
accompany several characters and situations
• Flute music conjures up memories of Willys father, the pioneer
flute maker; it generates the happiness and joy of a simpler
and more innocent time in America
• The Boys Music plays each time there is a scene or a memory
involving the boys
• Sexy music signals danger and illicit love; it plays while Willy
has an affair and while the boys pick up women in the bar
Ben’s music plays each time the character appears; it signals
success and longing
• Willys suicide scene is conveyed through collapsed discords
and sound effects
A death march introduces the requiem scene
MUSIC
SILK STOCKINGS
Means of Willy’s suicide; central to Willy’s livelihood and
unhappiness
• An element in the typical American Dream; the car is the
conventional symbol of mobility and freedom
• Elm trees surrounding Willy’s house, in the past, represented a
suburban oasis
• Symbolic of growth and potential; as Willy deteriorates, nothing
grows in his garden
The jungle represented a world of opportunity in which Ben
became wealthy
• The jungle of business and society traps and conquers Willy
Willys distress call involves trees (“The woods are burning. ”)
• Willy explains that some of his early car accidents were due to
the fact that he was admiring the scenery and trees
• An unsuccessful travelling salesman, Willy Loman, is trapped in
his pursuit of the American Dream
• His two sons inherit different life philosophies
• Happy follows in his father’s footsteps and pursues illusions
• Biff finally gains insight into the dangers and follies of living in
a dream world
• Willys wife, Linda, strives to improve Willys deteriorating
mental health and hold her family together
CAR
TAPE RECORDER
TREES
Main Plot

Loved by over 2.2 million students

Over 90% improved by at least one letter grade.

Leah — University of Toronto

OneClass has been such a huge help in my studies at UofT especially since I am a transfer student. OneClass is the study buddy I never had before and definitely gives me the extra push to get from a B to an A!

Leah — University of Toronto
Saarim — University of Michigan

Balancing social life With academics can be difficult, that is why I'm so glad that OneClass is out there where I can find the top notes for all of my classes. Now I can be the all-star student I want to be.

Saarim — University of Michigan
Jenna — University of Wisconsin

As a college student living on a college budget, I love how easy it is to earn gift cards just by submitting my notes.

Jenna — University of Wisconsin
Anne — University of California

OneClass has allowed me to catch up with my most difficult course! #lifesaver

Anne — University of California
Description
TM permacharts Death Of A Salesman Just the FactsSymbols ARTHUR MILLERMUSICTAPE RECORDER Born 1915 in Harlem, New York Epitomizes the mechanization of American society Music has major significance in the play Wrote many plays, essays, and a novel; also directed plays Howard Wagners favorite new invention (at the beginning of Leitmotifs (i.e., particular pieces of music used to represent ct Two) plays back the voices of Howards wife and childrenertain characters or moods) are used to introduce and Ac DEATH OF A SALESMAN ccompany several characters and situations a Parallels Willys internal voices and symbolizes his breakdown; Published and produced in 1949 the voices lead to his mental degeneration Flute music conjures up memories of Willys father, the pioneer Won the Pulitzer Prize in 1949 lute maker; it generates the happiness and joy of a simpler f CAR and more innocent time in America TRUCTURE S Means of Willys suicide; central to Willys livelihood and The Boys Music plays each time there is a scene or a memory Two act play with a requiem; there are no scene divisions unhappiness nvolving the boys i scenes have been added to make it easier to follow the plot) ( An element in the typical American Dream; the car is the Sexy music signals danger and illicit love; it plays while Willy Occurs in the 48 hours after Willy Loman has returned home onventional symbol of mobility and freedom c has an affair and while the boys pick up women in the bar early from a sales trip REES T Bens music plays each time the character appears; it signals Written in a style which blends the past with the present, Elm trees surrounding Willys house, in the past, represented a success and longing eliminating boundaries of time and space uburban oasis s Willys suicide scene is conveyed through collapsed discords Symbolic of growth and potential; as Willy deteriorates, nothing nd sound effects a grows in his garden Themes A death march introduces the requiem scene The jungle represented a world of opportunity in which Ben SILK STOCKINGS AMERICAN DREAM became wealthy Symbol of infidelity and declining prosperity Examines the elusive yearning for the American Dream The jungle of business and society traps and conquers Willy Willy Loman sells stockings for a living The advantages and disadvantages of the American Dream are Willys distress call involves trees (The woods are burning.) Linda Loman mends her stockings, which makes Willy explored; consider ambition, drive, and inherited wealth vs. Willy explains that some of his early car accidents were due to ncomfortable; he gives them freely to his mistress ortgages, loans, extramarital affairs, and suicide attempts u m the fact that he was admiring the scenery and trees Elements of the American Dream are demythologized; the ideal car, house and family of four do not bring happiness Characters ODERN TRAGIC HERO M WILLY LOMANCHARLEY Willy is a modern tragic hero, similar to Shakespeares King Lear and Oedipus Nextdoorneighbor and very close friend of the Lomans Protagonist and modern tragic hero He falls due to a tragic error; Willys error is being blinded by Husband to Linda, father to Biff and Happy Successful businessman; he achieved his success through the myth of the American Dream hard work 63 years old; travelling salesman for the Wagner firm This modern tragic hero is a common man, rather than a king Loans Willy money each month after he is put on commission Placed on straight commission; he is deemed to be less or a great man valuable to the company Father to Bernard; foil to Willy Willy travels through ignorance, suffering, and enlightenment Talks to himself; his talks are often directed at Biff or his dead BERNARD brother, Ben Unfortunately, his enlightenment (i.e., that his death is more Son of Charley and neighbor of the Lomans valuable to his family than his life) is realized through his Lacks selfknowledge; never admits to failure m Foil to ch
More Less
Unlock Document


Only half of the first page are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Unlock Document
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Unlock Document

Log In


OR

Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


OR

By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.


Submit