Friday, November 27, 2009

Writing topics--Death of a Salesman

Choose one of the topics below for a 500- to 800-word essay. You may use secondary sources, but if you do, then be extremely careful and diligent in making sure you don't plagiarize. Papers are due at the beginning of class December 8. As always, you'll need to send me an electronic copy of your paper.

1. There is a “kid” motif in DoaS. Many characters call each other “kid” or “boy”: Howard to Willy, Bernard to Willy, Willy to Bernard, Charlie to Bernard, Charlie to Willy, Linda to Biff, Biff and Happy to each other, etc. Assuming this usage is more than simply 1940s slang, what significance might it have for the play? Find specific examples and evaluate them for possible significance.

2. In what ways is Ben like a god to Willy? Be specific and use particular examples to support your position.

3. Is consumerism and the “American Dream” taking the place of a father for Willy? Why or why not? Give specific examples to support your position.

4. Support or defend this statement: The problem with the Lomans is that there really is no man in the house (I’ll give you a hint: It’s probably much more interesting to support).

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