Death of a Salesman: Worksheet 2

Guidance Prompts for Dramatic Significance: pages 36-49

Look out for: exclamations, questions, interruptions, pauses, short sentences.

Look out for: character reactions and consider their importance

Look out for: contrast and repetition of ideas, phrases and words.

Look out for: metaphor and symbolism

Always consider dramatic impact/significance of the items below including the effect of their presentation at this particular moment and the importance of the point in relation to theme:


Biff’s lack of contact with his parents.  Biff’s surprise and Linda’s retort to Happy.  Linda mending the lining


‘hateful to each other’.  ‘can’t take hold’ and Linda’s rejoinder:  ‘pal’


‘(Lamely)’.  Linda’s loyalty to Willy.  References to ‘respect’.  Contrast with Charley.


repetition  of ‘attention’.  ‘A small man can be just as exhausted as a great man’.  ‘on straight commission’.  ‘Are they any worse than his sons?’.  Linda’s questions at bottom of page.


‘his sons, who he loved better than his life.’  ‘he’s a fake’.  pause and reactions.


‘What woman’.  ‘he probably fell asleep again’.  the rubber pipe.


The removing and replacing of the rubber tubing.  Biff’s decision to stay.  Happy’s criticisms.


Biff’s attitude to the city..  ‘or – or’.  ‘mixing cement’ & ‘carpenters’.  Whistling.  Willy’s aggression.


Happy’s telling Willy about Biff’s intentions.  Willy’s treatment of Linda (also 45, 46, 48).  Happy’s intervention in the argument.  Happy’s solution


‘honour’ and ‘comradeship’.



‘personality’ (and 47 ‘a sweet personality’).  ‘how sweet he was’.  ‘pulling on his cheek, beaten down, guilt ridden (also 25 guilt).  Happy as peacemaker


What a woman’ (and 13 ‘character’ and ‘resistance’)..  ‘everything falls to pieces’..  Linda’s doubts about Oliver remembering.


Willy’s interruption of Linda.  ‘Im gonna get married’ and the reaction to the news


‘golden pool of light’.  ‘young god.  Hercules.’  A star ‘never really fade away’ contrasted with light fading on Willy.  Anticlimax of helplessness.  Gas heater is a reminder of…?  Biff staring at heater.  Counterpoint: Biff’s actions and Willy’s words

‘Gee’ (also 36 and 46).  The sky.


You might also like to see my other pages on ‘Death of a Salesman’:

Death of a Salesman: Ben

Death of a Salesman: Articles

Death of a Salesman: Revision Essay Questions

Death of a Salesman: Dramatic Features

Death of a Salesman: Sample Essay

Death of a Salesman: Worksheet 1

Death of a Salesman: Worksheet 3

Death of a Salesman: Dramatic Features

Death of a Salesman: Miller’s view


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