Death of a Salesman Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What statement of Ben's summarizes his business ethics?

2. For how long was Linda unable to contact Biff?

3. Of what does Charley accuse Willy?

4. Who is Bill Oliver?

5. What is a synonym for 'trepidation'?

Short Essay Questions

1. In the card game scene, what evidence of Willy's unused abilities is presented?

2. What does this conversation with Biff reveal about Happy's character?

3. What does the audience learn about Linda from her great confrontation with her sons in Act 1?

4. Comment on the "gay and bright" music that is heard at the beginning of Act 2.

5. Comment about Willy's assertion that "I never in my life told him anything but decent things."

6. In what way does the commercial world intrude into the wire recorder demonstration?

7. As this scene (inside Willy's head) continues, what false idea does Willy peddle to his sons?

8. Why has Willy unexpectedly returned from his journey?

9. Explain the significance of Ben's words, "I have many enterprises, William, and I have never kept books."

10. What is Linda's attitude to Willy's return?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Death of a Salesman is a savage indictment of commercial values." Discuss with close reference to the play.

Essay Topic 2

Describe and comment upon Miller's use of symbolism (aural, visual and in spoken language) in Death of a Salesman. How does this symbolism emphasize the main ideas in the play? Describe at least three major pieces of symbolism and go into detail as to their meanings and purposes in the play to convey ideas.

Essay Topic 3

"Willy Loman's life is a complete waste, as is his death." Explain and discuss the significance of this comment, referring closely to the play.

(see the answer keys)

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