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. Why does Willy admire Dave Singleman?

2. To what does Bernard attribute Biff's lack of success after the age of seventeen?

3. According to Linda, in what way does Willy compare with many other people?

4. What statement of Ben's summarizes his business ethics?

5. Why is Bernard in Charley's office?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Comment on Willy's "Dave Singleman" speech.

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

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

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

9. What is it that prevents Willy from accepting the offer of a job from Charley?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"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 2

"As a salesman, Willy Loman was like a low-ranking priest in the religion of commerce, with all its fake values and promises." Discuss with close reference to Death of a Salesman.

Essay Topic 3

Comment on the staging of the "internal scenes" in Death of a Salesman. How effective do you think these are? How important are they in the creation of drama? Are they necessary to understanding the characters? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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