|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. Which character does not appear onstage in Act 1?
2. What ability does Lingk say he does not have?
3. How many of the B-list leads does Williamson give Roma?
4. In Roma's extended monologue in Scene 3, what befuddles people?
5. In Roma's list of hypothetical events near the end of Scene 3, what has just happened to the man who is run over by a cab?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
David Mamet's work is nearly always concerned with the idea of the scam. His characters are always scheming against other for their own gain, setting up systems that are rigged in their favor. Write an essay about the scams of this play:
Part 1) How is the business of selling this land a lie? Is the business these men engage in connected in any way to the dreams they promise their customers? Cite the interchange between Lingk, Roma, and Levene in Act 2 as evidence.
Part 2) To what extent is the company scamming the salesmen? Is there any way that these men can win in a system like the sales contest?
Part 3) How does Dave Moss scam both the company and his fellow salesmen over the course of the play? How does he keep himself free of risk, and how does his plan work in the end?
Essay Topic 2
In Act 1, Scene 3, Ricky Roma speaks at length about the world, fear, morality, and eventually real estate. Analyze this monologue, dividing your examination into three parts:
Part 1) In the beginning of the scene, Roma is engaging James Lingk in a frank discussion about moral codes. About what does he assure Lingk? What does he believe about middle-class morality?
Part 2) The body of Roma's, monologue concerns the things that drive human beings to fear full paralysis. What are these things? How does Roma free himself of them? How does he recommend Lingk do the same?
Part 3) What is the ultimate objective of Roma's soliloquy? How does he make this objective clear at the very end of the scene? How has the rest of the monologue been at service of this objective?
Essay Topic 3
The idea of authority is ambiguous in Mamet's play. On the one hand, even a small amount of power affects many people in this small, claustrophobic world. On the other hand, being in a position of authority draws open ire and isolation. Write an essay on the subject of power, in two parts:
Part 1) Williamson and Baylen are arguably the most powerful characters in the play. From where does this power derive, and how does each use it? What price do these men pay for the authority they have over other men.
Part 2) The essential conduits of absolute power in the play are the unseen Mitch and Murray. Examine the nature of this power. In what ways do the salesmen alternately regard them as fathers and tyrants?
This section contains 1,900 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)