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 does Willy intend to do during the day?

2. Where was Ben living when he died?

3. What is the outcome of Willy's visit to Howard?

4. What, in Willy's behavior, embarrasses Happy?

5. According to Linda, in what way does Willy compare with many other people?

Short Essay Questions

1. In what way is Linda realistic about life?

2. Did Willy Loman die in vain?

3. How do the Lomans react to Bernard's news that Biff must study for his coming exams?

4. Account for Willy's anger towards Biff.

5. In what way is Happy's betrayal of his father ironic?

6. Explain Happy's refusal to go with Biff and make a life for themselves in the country.

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

8. What reassuring news does Linda give Biff when he phones her?

9. How does Biff respond to Happy's question about his plans for the future?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Comment on the staging of the "internal scenes" in Death of a Salesman. How effective do you think these are? How important are they in the creation of drama? Are they necessary to understanding the characters? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the significance of irony in Death of a Salesman. Are the characters aware of the ironies in the story? How does it affect their behaviors?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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