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, 3 November 2010

Tragedy? Dramatic Devices, Expressionism, and Realism

Before I start, we were told that we were going to be practicing essays for the sake of our coursework later on, so it might be worth reviewing the Assessment Objectives (A01, A02, etc.) in my previous post if your interested :P

We began the lesson by imagining which dramatic devices that we would use for emphasis when directing DoaS. People came up with these thingies:
-Way Dialouge is Spoken
-Body Language
-Facial Expressions
When the comments are eventually posted, you'll be able to see details on the ones that are already included in the play, emphasis on eventually. (:S)

We then discussed, as a class, the use of the Flute in the play- with the two most prominent examples given as:
-Act 1, Pg1-2, When Willy comes home without selling anything
-Requiem, Pg107-108, Plays around the time that Happy was the last one to leave the scene.
It was agreed that the Flute always had a close relation to Willy, with the deeper meaning revealed as "The flute is Willy going to his 'happy place'. It is seem as a link to the simpler past or tie to Willy's idealistic future".

If that befuddled anyone, be sure to talk to someone from the class that may have a better idea of how to explain it. Relating to the Holiday Homework, we then discussed what Realism and Expressionism are when used in plays. The definitions compiled are as so:

-Realism: When a play focuses on events that have happened or could happen in real life.
Characters are realistic, and easily relateable.

-Expressionism: Characters express their innermost feelings or emotions through actions
that relate to them, which are sometimes obscure as a result. It is an
attempt to make a play relateable to a wider audience, as anyone
capable of emotion can ideally feel some relation to the characters, even
without the plays wider meaning being felt.

If Expression confused anyone, again talk to someone from the class, but beware that there was much confusion there aswell (D':)

Dramatic Devices are used in DoaS: Review the comments for details on each one, there are mini-presentaions on all of them.

Oh, and there was no homework! Yay! :D
~Dylan :P


  1. Football Symbolism:

    Football is constantly referenced when Willy has his flashbacks of Biff and Happy as younger boys, before his failures caused them to change course. Biff exclaims in one such flashback, “I’m takin’ one play for pop” (A1, Pg.19), signifying his adoration of his father figure and role model. Willy remembers this in such a way as a sort of comparison, it brings him back to a better time where his hardships were not evident, but for the audience it brings about a comparison with Willy’s hopes for Biff’s future and what he truly amounted to. The next reference to football can be seen on
    (A2, Pg.65), where Willy’s neighbour Charley questions when Willy is going to “grow up”, and toys with him by questioning his beliefs about Biff’s future with “Is that so?”. The relevance of such an exchange critisizes Willy’s unending belief that his boys will truly amount to something great, when it is evident that they have already failed. Another instance is in (A1, Pg.19), where Willy critiques Bernard telling Biff he needs to study, “With a scholarship to three universities they’re gonna flunk him”, bringing to light that Willy’s beliefs are so strong and stubborn that they sometimes overrule truths, and force others to take descisions they do not neccesarily wish to.

    All of these instances relate to the play by emphasising Willy’s stubborn determination to cling to him dreams. As Biff says later “You blew me so full of hot air” that he couldn’t take orders from anyone, and therefore faced failure because of willy’s determination. It sort of says that Willy is so assured of his beliefs, that he is oblivious to taking others down with him.

    -Other examples of what Football can symbolise are, although they aren’t that great for essays:
    o The relationship between men, Willy and Biff’s bond.
    o Biff’s wants to be outside, rather than in an office block.
    o Biff’s physical nature vs. His lack of mental prowess- hinting at the way his life is, and why?

    Tennis Symbolism:

    Tennis is only referenced once in the play, when Willy is speaking of Bernard’s success. Bernard enters carrying a tennis racket, saying he is going to play with friends. In symbolic terms, it references Bernard’s success in relation to Biff’s, and Bernard can go off to play with friends any time he wants, whereas Biff’s failures prevent him from even entertaining the notion of playing his choice of sport, or even allow him to have friends. It contains a hint of irony as well, with Biff once being the popular one in school being left with nothing, and Bernard, the one who followed him around to be showered with his glory, was left with a great success.

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  3. Humour:

    Throughout DOAS humour is used as an dramatic device in order to add realism to the play.

    Examples of this are:

    Willy- "You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away, a man is not a piece of fruit"

    Happy- " Don't mention it, it's all company money"

    "Biff is a quarterback with the New York giants"

    These quotations show that the Loman family have a weird sense of humour and use it to make light of situations. Miller used them to make it relatable to it's audience, humour is used as comic relief to make it realistic.

    Akanksha and Lucy.

  4. Music dramatic devices:

    Music is used to give atmosphere e.g. “a melody is heard, played upon a flute. It is small and fine, telling of grass and trees and the horizon. Times of promise

    It can also take the audience back in time to the lives of the characters e.g. Willy and the flute signifying as flashback in death of a salesman. The use of different instruments also symbolises different speeds in changes e.g. “the single trumpet note” shows it is instant and unexpected instantly followed with a flashback. Another example of this would be “raucous music is heard” showing he is being put back in the present.

    Saways + Chris. 张