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.
Personality- 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,
Appearance- Well built, Good looking.
Personality- 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.
- 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?