20 October 2010:
3- Group discussion
4- Is Willy a Tragic hero?
5- Bonus Task
1 –Homework: (Due After Half Term)
“Is Willy Loman A tragic hero?
Find out Expressionism & Realism in theatre
What is the flute all about?
A mass (Catholic celebration) where people honour/ pray for dead person
Point of the requiem is… (Continue sentence):
- Why did Miller include it?
- What additional information do we learn about Willy?
- Why is this important?
- Does it tell us anything else about what Miller is trying to say with his play?
Why is it used? (Millers viewpoint):
“But the key is in the requiem at the end”
“What is the point of a funeral? You want to think over the life of the departed and it’s in there. Really, that it’s nailed down: he won’t accept his life.”
“However I did not realize while writing the play that so many people in the world do not see as clearly, or would not admit, as I thought they must, how futile most lives are; so there could be no hope of consoling the audience for the death of this man.”
“This man is actually a very brave spirit who cannot settle for half but must pursue his dream of himself to the end. That this was no dumb brute heading mindlessly to his catastrophe.”
Willy’s death in this story is not because he has given up on life as most people have thought. But in fact he is defying it. As a man who cannot accept defeat (even if it was going wrong) “a very brave spirit who cannot settle for half but must pursue his dream of himself to the end”. His death was to express his raging (mentioned in previous Death of a salesman blog) His death also proves that it has been planned for a long time and he knows he has died for a reason giving his family a new fresh start in life “this was no dumb brute heading mindlessly to his catastrophe.”
3- Group Discussion (Analysing Characters Viewpoints on Willy’s life):
- He never saw his dad “winning” so he tells the others not to blame him for killing himself.
- But Deep down He sees his father as a liar and a fake
o Blaming him for everything which altered his life
o He has been prevented from seeing his strengths and weaknesses clearly (stuck in mentality of teenager)
o Realises Willy’s death is trying to take control of his life
- “He Didn’t know himself”
- Forgetting that the stoop was constructed from stolen materials, Biff muses fondly, "there's more of him in that front stoop than in all the sales he ever made.“
- Didn’t know charley as well as his family though he cared for him
- Relates to American Dream (successful)
- Biff & Charley conflicts their views about the American dream
o Biff: Understands failures of it
o Charley: Bought in to it more
- Charley understands Willy’s death as a sacrifice for his sons “ nobody dast blame this man” having a more objective viewpoint
o And for a salesman, there is no rock bottom to the life. He don’t put a bolt to a nut, he don’t tell you the law or give you medicine. He’s a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back – that’s an earthquake. Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.” (1264)
o Self contradictory, both realistic about forgiving and generous to Willy.
o Lack of foundation or substance to Willy’s dream and capitalism as a whole
- Doesn’t understand why Willy took his own life instead of confiding with his family
o “Had no right to do it” “We would’ve helped him.” Empty promise
- Hopes to do Willy proud
o “He had a good dream” maintain Willy’s dream and his fight
- He Hints at regret; Not making the most of his time with his father
- “I’m gonna show you that Willy Loman didn’t die in vain.”
o Admires Willy’s dreams without admiring Willy himself
- “Why didn’t anyone come?”
o Told a lot of stories about how successful Willy is, She half believed them
- “maybe they blame him” “they wouldn’t blame him”
o Switches between believing and not believing him. She is dutiful to the point of encouraging Willy in his delusions (gone on for long time)
- She has more authority over the two boys
- Her character epitomises Willy’s destructive path – blocking attitude.
4- -Is Willy Loman a tragic Hero?
How well does Willy match these criteria?
- born at the start of play
- king or leader of noble birth
- must suffer more than deserves
- faces and accepts death with honour
- learns from mistakes
- responsible for own fate
- falls from esteem
- realizes s/he made a mistake
- meets a tragic death
- Miller argues that tragedy is not restricted to kings and queens
- the common man is capable of heroism and tragedy
- Miller's tragedy = The result of an individual's quest for personal dignity and occurs when an individual attempts to evaluate existence justly.
- tragic flaw = an unwillingness to submit passively to the established order and values
- in Willy's descent, there is a tragic paradox; for as he moves towards inevitable destruction, he acquires that knowledge, that sense of reconciliation, which allows him to conceive a redemptive plan for his house
- Loman, the contemporary her, embarks upon a most courageous Odyssey: the descent into the self, where he engages his most dangerous enemy, himself.
- In the traditional sense, Willy is neither noble nor heroic
- does not measure up to the stature of a great and good man
- a small man, a mere failure who does not have the sufficient grace to warrant universal concern
- doesn't have just one tragic flaw - he has many (disloyal, headstrong, short tempered, proud, false, etc)
- common man is not of high stature
5- Bonus Task:
- Write a commentary on the requiem.
o ...showing what it adds to the play and what you feel about it as an ending.
There’s my blog hopefully this has helped you out
Criticism on blog will be good thanks.