The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Stage Directions and Characteristics

ItalicAt the start of the lesson, we were asked about an upstage stage direction (which the class was pretty unsure about,) so we had to copy a diagram on the certain stage directions which could possibly face us in further reading of "The death of a salesman".

Going back to the previous lesson about Ambition, we were given a series of questions:
1) Why did/ didn't you predict any bad things happening to you?
2) If your life doesn't work out like this, will you think your a failure?
3) How important is ambition to being successful?

After these questions were answered, we briefly moved on to the stage directions in the opening of "The death of a salesman." We discussed as a class what the flute (at the beginning) tells us of the atmosphere and the dreams Willy may have. Sir, then made the class read pages 9-15 of the novel, which would lead us on to our next task. After reading the allocated pages given to us, we got into groups of 4 and were given 4 particular characters from the first scene. We had to describe their: Appearance, Character/Personality and their relationship to others.

Appearance- Old, "Past 60 years of age", "Exhausted looking", "Dresses like a businessman"

Character and personality
- Short tempered, "Has a mercurial nature", Contradicting, Confused, Big dreams.

Relationship to others
- Treats Biff different to Happy (there's been no mentioning on happy thus far from Willy to his wife.) He wants Biff to carry out his dreams, not to be a failure like himself.

Moving on to Linda,
Appearance- Not much mentioning of her appearance as yet- just dresses in a gown.

- Very loyal to Willy- she mothers him, Very typical "motherly figure" (caring for her children.) Linda has only spoken about her family so far in the play. This as yet, is what her character is all about. As we discussed in depth about Linda, we came across this quote: "Most often jovial, she has developed an iron repression of her expectations to Willy's behaviour." This quote brought us the following question: `What clue is their about Linda's character which the audience might not know?` It may give clues to what might happen next in the play, what do you think..........?

The next group spoke about Biff,
- Well built, Good looking.

Was really confident but life has made him more pessimistic. He's still searching for something perfect to make him happy and successful.

Relationship to others-
He's close to Happy, but the relationship has deteriorated over time. Biff tries to please his father but fails to do so- he is mocked for this. His father had too much expectations, he thinks.

Lastly, me moved on to Happy,
Personality- Competitive, Was bashful with girls but got over that, People think he's an assistant buyer- but actually lower down.
  • He's embarrassed of his father, but gets on well with him.
  • He wants to find a girl like his mother (Stable, Supportive.)
  • Tries to please brother, but changes subject when it gets too heavy.
After this task was completed, our final objective was to write 2 PEE paragraphs on how Willy treats his 2 sons. use the following questions to help you:
  • Who is his favourite?
  • What's his attitude towards his sons?
  • What are his values in raising his children?
  • Has Willy brought up his children well?
Homework: To find examples of narrative techniques. Research and feed back to class (Due next week, Wednesday 29th September.)



  1. Nice.

    Comment on mine.

  2. This is really detailed Chris, I think your stage directions hyperling isn't working properly though.


  3. this blog is good as you commented on everything we did in that lesson


  4. I think that Biff is a favorite of Willys as he is probably more like willy and thats why willy puts so much pressure on him. Also i think that they both must of had a really close relationship when they were younger as in Willys mumbling we noticed that he was always proud of his son when he was younger.

    Esmeralda :)

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. This is a FANTASTIC POST amazing in every way so much so in fact that i have absolutely no advice to give as this is wonderful.

    P.S. This is the post we are meant to comment on...right?