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Death of a Salesman
Thursday, 21 August 2008

Hello, everyone!  Welcome to the fall semester and to English 1113 section 005 of freshman English at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. 

The main objective of this class is for students to practice and improve their writing skills, and to do that, we'll engage ourselves in different kinds of writing activities--just like this class blog. 

Each day, there will be two students responsible for blogging.  One student will blog what occurred in class, and the other will contribute a journal entry (of sorts).  The blog will then be available to all students so they can read what we did in class and what was assigned for the following time we meet. 


What to Blog:

A)  If you have signed up on the RED list, you will blog a journal entry of your choice.  In your blog entry, you need to include the prompt (for example:  the most horrible day in my life) and then the entry itself.  Journal entries should be no shorter than 200 words--but longer entries would be great.  NOTE:  Make sure you write your name and last name.


B) If you have signed up on the GREEN list, you need to include the following information in your entry:

        a) a detailed summary of what was covered in class that day;

        b) a detailed summary of what is assigned for the following time we meet (that is, page number of assignments, etc.);

        c) the blogger's name and last name.


Blog entries need to be recorded on the day when they are due.  That is, if you are to blog what occurred in class on August 21, your blog entry should be posted sometime during that day--not on August 22 or 23.  By then, it would be too late.



1.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and on the bottom of the page, click on "Post Comment"

2.  A box will open wherein you will type your name, your email (if you wish), and your blog entry.


Enjoy your blogging experience! 

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL semester.


Posted by taznar at 1:07 PM EDT
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Friday, 14 September 2007
Blog Questions and Instructions


This is the blog assigned to discuss Miller's Death of a Salesman.  You will use this blog to answer the questions I posted for your consideration.  Because there are only two people taking this class, answer the questions given and then respond to your peer's.  In responding to peers, consider only those ideas which you find different from your own or maybe ideas you haven't thought about.  You don't have to necessarily respond to every single answer your peer typed!

The idea is for you to think about the play and then to exchange thoughts with the other student.

All you have to do to read someone else's responses is to scroll down and click "read comment" at the bottom on right of the page.  To answer the questions, scroll down and click "post comment" also at the bottom right of the page. 

Should you have ANY questions at ANY time, please let me know.  Call me or email me.  Enjoy discussion this wonderful play!



1.  Make a list of at least three themes in the play.  Then, choose one and explore the theme--tell us how it is seen in the play, what it means, etc--by giving examples from the play.

2.  Choose a character (NOT Willy) and write a characterization.  What is this character like?  What do we know about him/her?  What is its importance in the play?  How does this character change?  Does it?  Etc, etc, etc.

3.  Consider the year when the play was first produced--1949.  How is the play relevant to American in the late 40's?  Is it still relevant to day?  How so?

4.  Examine Willy Loman's personality and character. What influences have shaped his view of his job, his family, and the world in general? What is responsible for his tendency to change temperament quickly? What contradictions in behavior does he exhibit?

5.  How does the playwright communicate Willy’s outlook and emotions to the reader or audience not only through Willy’s words but through his appearance, Linda’s reactions, the set design, and other means?

6.  Examine how Biff and Hap’s adult lives show the influence of their childhood as seen in the flashback.

7.  Should Willy be "happy right here, right now," as Linda says? Willy has a wife and two sons who love him, so why should he be unhappy? Examine how Willy continually plans for his own success and happiness but always seems unsatisfied, even angry. You might start by suggesting that Willy cannot meet the requirements for success that he sets for himself. Willy says "the sky’s the limit" when "it’s who you know and the smile on your face," but who does Willy know and what has his smile earned him?

8.  How does Miller begin and end flashbacks, memories, or hallucinations? For instance, show how Willy’s anger with Biff’s failure to get the loan triggers his vision of Bernard telling Linda about Biff flunking math in high school.


9.  What are Biff's and Hap’s reactions to Willy’s death? Has Willy’s death changed the way they viewed him before he committed suicide? Does Hap seem more upset in the “Requiem” section than he was in Act II? Does Biff not share Hap’s anger over Willy’s suicide or does he express it differently?

Posted by taznar at 9:05 PM EDT
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