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    Elit 48 c class 32 post qhq Elit 48 c class 32 post qhq Presentation Transcript

    •  Chair Poet? Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things. T. S. Eliot
    •  New Teams 4-5 members Death of a Salesman Themes and Style Discussion AGENDA
    •  Style and Themes Lecture
    •  Style Death of a Salesman is a drama set in 1949, in New York City and Boston. The action of the play takes place largely inside the Loman home in Brooklyn, but other places in New York and Boston are used as well, including hotel rooms, Willy's office, a restaurant, and Willy's gravesite. The play is grounded in realism, which means that it depicts realistically what happens in the lives of its characters, but it also contains elements of expressionism, specifically when it depicts imaginary sequences and portrays for the audience the inner workings of the characters' minds and their emotions. The play is largely a representation of what takes place in the mind of Willy Loman during the last two days of his life.
    •  Death of a Salesman presents the struggling modern characters who live in the world of postmodernism but are oscillating between modern and postmodern values. They find themselves broken and isolated in the cruel world of post war values and consumer culture. The play deals with various postmodern elements:  The fall of the grand narrative  The disintegration of family ties  The distance between illusion and reality  A sense of isolation  A lack of understanding  The struggle to exist Postmodern Aspects
    • Death of a Salesman Discuss Themes, Questions, and QHQs Five minutes!
    •  Appearance versus reality The American Dream The Individual versus Society The Individual versus Self Themes
    •  What appears to be true to the characters in Death of a Salesman is often a far cry from reality. Willy's flashbacks to past events—many of which are completely or partly fabricated—demonstrate his difficulty in distinguishing between what is real and what he wishes were real.  Willy's imagined conversations with his dead brother, Ben, also show his fragile grip on reality.  Willy has fantasies about his own (and his sons’) abilities and accomplishments.  Biff and Happy share their father’s tendency to concoct grand schemes and think of themselves as superior to others without any real evidence that either is true. Themes: Appearances vs. Reality
    •   Willy's quest to realize what he views as the American Dream— the "self-made man" who rises out of poverty and becomes rich and famous— is a dominant theme in Death of a Salesman. Willy believed wholeheartedly in this prized national story.  In the 1920s, a career in sales was hailed as a way for a man without training or education to achieve financial success. Pamphlets, lectures, and correspondence courses promoting the skills of salesmen were widely distributed during this decade. Willy would have begun his career as a salesman in the 1920s, when belief that salesmen adept at manipulation and "people skills" were destined for wealth and fame was widespread. American Dream
    •   By the late 1940s, when Death of a Salesman takes place, the job market has changed, and salesmen (and other workers) required specialized knowledge and training in order to succeed. Because he lacks such knowledge or training, Willy is destined to fail in his business world. Willy, of course, does not realize how times and expectations have changed, and he continues to try to strike it rich using his powers of persuasion. Willy's personal representations of the American Dream are his brother Ben and the salesman Dave Singleman, and he views the success of these two men as proof that he can indeed attain the success he is so desperate to achieve. According to Willy's version of the American Dream, he is a complete failure.
    •  Discussion
    • Contrast Willy with Ben. Willy seems to think that he leads a life somehow like Ben’s. Besides the fact that Ben is rich and Willy is not, what separates them? Did Ben ever really make it out of the jungle?
    • Describe why Willy believes committing suicide will provide a better life for his family. Will his plan work? Q: Was there any other way that Willy could have helped his son make his own business? Or was committing suicide the only way for him to help his son out?
    • Explore the difference between Biff and Hap’s reactions to Willy’s death.
    •  QHQ 1. Q: What is the difference of the portrayal of the American Dream in Death of a Salesman and The Great Gatsby? 1. Q: What purpose does Bernard serve in the story? 2. Q: Was Biff truly living to spite his father like Willy so steadfastly believed? Or is Willy showing his guilt and blaming himself? 3. Q: Why does Biff continue to keep his father’s affair a secret even after his death?
    •  Study for the exam by reviewing each of the authors and texts we have discussed so far. HOMEWORK Death of a Salesman ina Loy