IB Literature II—HL: Cue Card Instructions
L.Lyon (Adapted from A.Wiggins)
Contents of each Cue Card:
1. AUTHOR and TEXTS (properly punctuated)
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
2. BIRTH/DEATH DATES AND PLACES OF BIRTH/DEATH
He was born on October 17, 1915 in Harlem New York
He died on February 10, 2005, in Roxbury, Connecticut.
3. HISTORICAL DATE THE TEXT WAS PUBLISHED
The play was first performed in 1949. That period was the post war period for the Second World War. From the end of the 30s until mid 40’s was the great economic depression. So the play was first performed in the recession period when businesses were recovering from the economic downfall, which caused many people to go bankrupt. This had a great impact on the play’s plot as Willy was a salesman. The play was also known to be the first American tragedy. 4. SOCIO-POLITICAL CONTEXT THE AUTHOR WAS BORN OUT OF
Arthur Miller was an American playwright and essayist. He was born in New York and raised there until he attended the university of Michigan. Before collage he lived with his family moderately but after the economic recession his family lost a lot of their assets and money. So in the play, the plot and specifically Willy is described in detail as a reflection upon his life and the effect of the Wall Street crash on his family. He completed writing his first play in collage and continued to write other plays while working on other jobs to maintain a middleclass lifestyle.
5. Name of Text: 1-2 LINE SUMMARY OF TEXT
This play is about the character Willy Lomen who suffers with balancing his life between his fantasy and reality. Characters such as his son Biff and his friends Charley try to help him and this ends up contributing to his downfall by committing suicide and becoming a tragic hero.
6. LIST OF SIGNIFICANT SUBJECTS AND PEOPLE IN THE TEXT, AND ALLUSIONS/CONNECTIONS TO OTHER PEOPLE, PLACES, PLAYS, OR LITERARY SYMBOLS OR ARCHETYPES.
Willy Loman: he is the main character who suffers from a mental disease and is unable to separate his reality from his fantasy and past. He strives for his children to be happy and tries to commit suicide multiple times until he succeeded. Biff Loman: He is Willy’s son who struggled in the sales and building a career for himself. Happy Loman: He is Willy’s other son who works as an assistant and always strives to become the center of attention. Linda Loman: She’s Willy’s wife who loves him so much regardless of his bad behavior towards her sometimes. Charley: He is Willy’s friend who becomes very successful and lends money to Willy when he’s in need and even though he offers Willy a job but he refuses. Charley represents everything that Willy wanted but never had. Ben: He is Willy’s brother that succeeded in his life financially. Willy always looked up to him as a role model. Bernard: He is Charley’s son who was Biff’s friend too. He was always smarter than Biff and he became a very successful lawyer. The Women: She is Willy’s mistress who Biff saw when he came to the hotel room to see his father.
The Trophy: It symbolizes Willy’s early accomplishment and the thing that Biff wasn’t able to accomplish and get. The Fountain Pen: it’s the item that Biff stole from Oliver Stocking: The item that Willy used to get for both Linda and his mistress as a gift. House Payment: it symbolizes the closure to their long payment and their life long accomplishment The Pipe: it symbolizes Willy’s attempt to commit suicide and his dark thoughts.
Music: it was a common motif in the play and the music mainly contributed to the mood of Willy and the over all atmosphere. The music helps the viewer distinguish between the flashbacks and the reality. The music also mainly creates tension and helps build up the events to the climax, Lighting: in the play, the lighting is an important aspect that helps the viewer distinguish between the flashbacks and reality by...
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