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 feel is a disgrace?

2. What is wrong with Biff whistling in the elevator?

3. Where was Ben living when he died?

4. When Linda says "You notice?", what is she referring to?

5. Why didn't Biff attend the university?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is revealed about Willy during his hallucinatory return to the past?

3. What is the effect of Willy's words, "The gist of it is that I haven't got a story left in my head."?

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

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

6. How does Biff feel about lying to his father about the Bill Oliver interview?

7. How is it that Biff has come to regard his father as a hypocrite?

8. In what way is the contrast between Willy's dreams and reality expressed in his conversation with Linda?

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

10. Is Death of a Salesman an uncompromising indictment of "The American Dream"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"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.

Essay Topic 2

"The commercial world inhabited by Willy Loman is very different from that which operates in the twenty-first century. Willy's tragedy would be impossible today." Referring to the text and to your knowledge of today's world, either agree with or refute this statement.

Essay Topic 3

"Death of a Salesman shows us, in a moving way, how disastrous it is if people lack the ability or to accept change in themselves and in the social and economic world." Discuss this statement, making close reference to the play.

(see the answer keys)

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