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. How much does Linda have to pay for repair of the hot water system?

2. What does Willy say about Biff's knowledge of sporting goods?

3. What advice does Willy remember Ben giving him?

4. What does Willy find ironic about people?

5. What is Happy's reaction to the news that his father has been attempting suicide?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. What important idea in the play is referenced by Linda's words, 'He could be--anything--in that suit!"?

8. What is Willy's mood when he leaves for his interview with Howard Wagner?

9. In what sense is Willy ironic when he comments that it is obscene for Biff not to have found himself by the age of thirty-four?

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

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

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

Essay Topic 3

"The ancient Greeks had a motto that said, 'Know yourself.' Death of a Salesman is a play about people who never understand themselves." To what extent do you agree with this statement? In your answer, refer both to major and minor characters in the play.

(see the answer keys)

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