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. Who does Happy say is his ideal girl?

2. Why does Willy need to borrow money from Charley?

3. What sound is heard before the curtain rises?

4. For how long has Willy been a salesman for Howard's firm?

5. What jobs has Biff mostly had since leaving school?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What is revealed about teenage Biff's popularity with girls?

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

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

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

8. What is the significance of the way the Loman house is presented when the play begins?

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

10. What is Happy's attitude to the news that his father is contemplating suicide?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"It comes with the territory" has passed into the language. What does this phrase mean and why is it so crucial to our understanding of Death of a Salesman?

Essay Topic 2

"BIFF: 'He had the wrong dreams. All, all wrong.'"

"CHARLEY: 'Nobody dost blame this man.'"

Do you agree with Charley? If Willy cannot be blamed for his tragedy, where does the blame (if any) lie?

Essay Topic 3

"Willy Loman's tragedy is that he is the outsider who yearns to be an insider." Account for Willy's ultimate lack of success as a salesman.

(see the answer keys)

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