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

2. What does Willy intend to do during the day?

3. According to Charley, what is the only thing Willy has in the world?

4. Why didn't Biff attend the university?

5. Where does Willy get the money he says is his pay?

Short Essay Questions

1. In the first few minutes of the play, what indications are there that Willy has an affinity with the artistic and creative?

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

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

4. In what picturesque way does Linda reinforce for Biff that his father needs support and nurturing?

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

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

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

8. What erratic behavior of Willy's indicates that he is disintegrating emotionally?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Linda: 'It sounds so old-fashioned and silly, but I tell you he put his whole life into you and you've turned your backs on him.'"

Account for Biff's and Happy's treatment of their father, making close reference to the text.

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

Discuss the nature and importance of friendship, making close reference to relationships in Death of a Salesman. Make sure to analyze the relationships between Willy and his sons, the sons and each other, and Willy and Linda.

(see the answer keys)

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