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 find frustrating about the appliances he has bought over the years?

2. What sort of debts do Willy and Linda have?

3. What derogatory comment does Biff make about Willy?

4. Who is Willy's employer?

5. What is the core of Linda's appeal to her sons?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Willy say '"Im always in a race with the junkyard!"?

2. What cautions does Ben advise concerning Willy's plan to commit suicide?

3. What is Linda's attitude to Willy's return?

4. 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?

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

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

7. What does the audience learn about Linda from her great confrontation with her sons in Act 1?

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

9. How does Happy think Biff should handle telling Willy the bad news when he arrives at the restaurant?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

"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 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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