Death of a Salesman, ActⅡ To Be or Not to Be: Success vs. Failure Presenters: Apple, Didier, Helen, Jane Lori, Mandy, Steven, Vicky Outline I. Plot Summary and Foreshadowing of Death II. Success vs. Failure (plus women) A. the arena of work (職場) B. the arena of love (歡場) C. household (家庭) III. [Comparison and Contrast] 1. Chart for the major characters concerned in Act 2 2. The Brothers: Biff and Happy 3. Ben and Charley 4. Bernard and Biff 5. Willy and Charley 6. Willy and Happy 7. Linda (the housewife) and the mistress IV. Symbols and the Functions of Flashbacks V. Issues (Critical Topics) and Conclusion (Q & A) I. Plot Summary On the same day, the father, Willy, and the son, Biff, are both refused. The scenes are interrelated with the present and Willy's memories in the past. 1. Willy asks Howard to let him work in New York, but Howard keeps showing off his recorder. Willy ends up with getting fired. • Then he falls into his dreams, going back to the day when Ben offers him a proposition in Alaska. Then again, he goes back further to the day when young Biff has a football game. 2. Having met Howard, Willy sees grown-up Bernard, who is thought to be more successful than Biff. Then Willy sees Charley, who offers him a job, but Willy would borrow Charley's money rather than work for him. Bernard and Charley both give their advice and sympathy toward Willy. I. Plot Summary 3. The son, Biff, waits for Bill Oliver all day long but gets only one minute to talk. 4. In the restaurant, where the father and the two sons are supposed to have dinner, they argue about the facts. * Willy appears more and more unusual, recalling the day when young Biff flunks math and bumps into him with the woman in Boston. * Willy imagines Ben is talking to him. Willy dies in a car crash (machine) near his home. The collapse of the characters’ dreams! Foreshadowing of Death: 1. In the first scene, we can see that Linda is worried about Willy, who may kill himself with the rubber pipe. 2. When Biff is arguing with Happy, then we know that Biff is also worried about the same thing, but Happy is not. With Howard, Willy mentions old Dave’s funeral. (1234) With Charley, Willy says “worth more dead than alive.” (1243) Buying seeds to plant, to leave something. (1255) Ⅱ. Success vs. Failure (plus women) Chart for all the characters concerned The father; the salesman The collapse of the characters’ dreams Biff The son Aspects of Willy Happy The son Aspects of Willy Ben Willy’s big brother Closer to real life and the image of Willy’s father Charley The friend Successful businessman Bernard Charley’s son; Biff’s friend Accomplished son Linda The mother; Willy’s Wife Desperate housewife, suffered Willy Like father, like sons: Two Aspects of Willy Biff Happy Willy’s spiritual needs Willy’s materialism and sexuality (pp 1244-45; 1251) To be successful To be happy Young Biff: Grand Young Happy: Proud of him (pp 1237-38) Lying to comfort Willy Lying to make believe “Willy had the wrong dreams.” “He had a good dream.” (1264) Cf. Concern for Willy: “Help him!”(1252) Irony: “that’s not my father.” (1252) Defeated; facing the music Stubborn; inherit the dreams Willy/Biff vs. Charley/Bernard Unsuccessful (1242) Athletic (1238) More friendly, gregarious, and well-liked (according to Willy) (1210) Believe personality is important to success (1234, 1242) Successful (1242, 1240) Less athletic, more clumsy (1237) More serious, lack of personality, and not well-liked (according to Willy) (1210) Believe more concrete factors are more important (1242) Willy/Biff vs. Charley/Bernard Talk more; better skilled in talking (1212) Always talk about past experiences (1233, 1235) Do not always follow rules (1219) Clumsy in words (1212) More practical and live for the future (1241, 1242) Law abiding (1219) More helpful and loyal to Willy and Biff (1241, 1243, 1253) More thoughtful (1241) Roles of Charley & Bernard Represents success that Willy can’t achieve (1242) Represents reality and tries to bring Willy to reality (1242, 1243) Despite anger, still helps Willy for he is Willy’s only friend (1242, 1243) Represents what Willy wants Biff to become (1239, 1241) Knows the turning point of Willy/Biff relationship (1241) Shows that Willy’s way of educating Biff is not successful (1242) Bernard and Biff Biff Loman (1) was a star football player in high school, and there were 3 major universities would offer him scholarships. He failed math in his senior year and was not allowed to graduate. caught Willy being unfaithful to Linda So → changed Biff's view of his father and everything that Biff believed in. Biff Loman (2) finally sees the truth and realizes that he is just a "dime a dozen" but not a “ great leader of men.” He tells this to Willy who is outraged. Willy shouts, "I am not a dime a dozen! I am Willy Loman and you are Biff Loman!" Biff realizes the illusions that Willy lived on. Biff is destined to no greatness, but he no longer has to struggle to understand what he wants to do with his life. (cited from: http://www.homeworkonline.com/doas/character_biff.asp) Bernard Bernard is Charlie's son who was a childhood friends of Biff. Bernard always studied very hard and eventually became a successful lawyer. He always admires Biff. ( ex: p.1241- Because I’d thought so well of biff, even through he’d always take advantage of me. I love him, Willy, y’know?) Quotes form Biff "Pop, I'm a dime a dozen and so are you.” "To suffer fifty weeks a year for the sake of a two-week vacation." "We never told the truth in the house for ten minutes." "We never told the truth in the house for ten minutes." "I looked up and I saw they sky ... and I realized what a ridiculous lie my whole life has been." "He had the wrong dreams. All, all wrong." Quote form Biff (2) I saw the things that I love in this world. The work and the food and the time to sit and smoke. And I looked at the pen and I thought, what the hell am I grabbing this for? Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be . . . when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am. - textbook p.1261 Willy and Biff have different explanations for Biff’s failure to succeed in the business world. How are their explanations different? Willy’s character (1) to see himself very high "Willy: ... Someday I’ll have my own business, and I’ll never have to leave home any more. Happy: Like Uncle Charley, heh? Willy: Bigger than Uncle Charley! Because Charley is not---liked. He's liked, but he's not---well liked" (P.1209) Willy’s character (2) Good at woodworking “Willy: A man who can’t handle tools is not a man.” (P. 1216) Don’t good at selling Charley thinks Willy doesn’t suit to be a salesman (P. 1242) Willy’s character (3) to keep up appearance Willy rejected Charley’s offer or even looked down it as a goddam job He has a job but without salary Willy doesn’t want to work but he want to have money Willy’s character (4) “Charley: Willy, when are you going to grow up?” (P. 1238 & 1242) Willy doesn’t want to change He is pessimistic “…and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive.” (P. 1243) Charley’s character (1) Don’t care of anything "ignorant" person in Willy's mind [about the vitamins] (P. 1215) more realistic “My salvation is that I never took any interest in anything.” (P.1242) “… things don’t mean anything…” (P. 1242) Charley’s character (2) Love shooting casino P. 1215 & 1239 Don’t want to be a loser (Proud) “Knock a homer, Biff, knock a homer!” (P. 1240) “Knock’em dead, Bernard!” (P. 1241) Manner on Son Willy Sons are his all (especially Biff) “This is the greatest day of my life.” (Ebbets Field in P.1240) Worried about Biff’s work Charley Don’t take too much time on Bernard (P. 1241) Willy vs. Charley Characters affect their work/business a lot Willy doesn’t suit to be a salesman/ businessman Care more ≠ success Willy vs. Happy (work) Willy and Happy Similarity 1.Create the illusion of success. Willy’s philosophy---Happy’s 2.Both failures Difference Willy: finally gets to the reality Happy: can’t see the reality ->Willy Loman did not die in vain," he says, "…He had a good dream, the only dream a man can have - to come out number one man. He fought it out here, and this where I'm gonna win it for him." Willy vs. happy (love) Willy & Happy Similarity 1. Deny their positions and exaggerate details in order to aggrandize themselves. 2. Sexual interludes are the defining moments of both of their lives Difference Willy: revolves around his attempt to forget his affair with the Woman. (hide) Happy: revolves around an active pursuit of affairs with many women. (show off) <http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/Li tNote/id-73,pageNum-85.html> Willy vs. happy( household) Willy & Happy Willy>Happy Neglects Always treats Happy as a “second son” Happy>Willy Always tries to be noticed by showing off ->"I'm losin' weight pop, you notice?" ->"I'm going to get married, just you wait and see," <http://www.homeworkonline.com/doas/index.asp> Linda (the housewife) and the mistress Linda Loman (1) – the heart and soul of the Loman household trying to share in Willy’s ideals loyal and supportive suffering and enduring Willy’s link to reality Linda Loman (2) struggling to come to terms with the city, her husband, and her sons a peace-maker in the family a role of observing inability The woman – Willy’s mistress of Boston making Will feel as though he were the salesman separating Willy from his family life Will’s concern for Linda is genuine but his need for success overcomes his feelings of loyalty Linda and the Woman The woman makes Willy form a sense of success of being a salesman Linda offers Willy a family where the love can tolerate all his fault the stockings The woman receives the new stockings; Linda mends the stockings III. Symbols and the Functions of Flashbacks success Insurance (1230) Refrigerator (1230) Recorder (1232;1235) work family failure Shaving lotion (1229;Act 1) seeds(1229) Ebbets Field (1238;1240) Tennis Rackets (1237;1241) Stockings (1254;1255) Flashbacks Flashbacks in Act 2 a. asking for confirmation/advice from Ben when Howard refused to give him job in N.Y.(1235~1239) b. recalling the discovery of his betrayal to Linda (1249~1255) c. seeking for confirmation again; sign of committing suicide(1258) d. Ben’s asking him to go find the diamonds(1262~1263) Functions a. psychological development b. escape from cruel reality c. seeking for confirmation and answers from Ben IV. Issues (Critical Topics) and Conclusion (Q & A) Please Give an Example of Dream vs. Reality in Capitalistic Society Willy as an Example Superficiality over hard work Faced with capitalistic burdens -insurance premium, mortgage payment, etc (p. 1230) Incident with Howard (p.1233) Dave Singleman (p. 1234) Biff messes up the deal with Oliver (p.1246) Happy a womanizer (p. 1245) Does Willy still remain a firm believer in appearance over hard work by the end of Act II? WELL………………. ALMOST! -Questioned Bernard as to “why didn’t he (Biff) ever catch on?” (p.1240) -Willy’s affair (p. 1252) -Responsible for Biff’s failure- lost faith in Willy. -Charley: “The only thing you got in this world is what you can sell.” Willy: “I’ve always tried to think otherwise…I always felt that if a man was impressive, and well-liked, that nothing…” (p. 1242) Last flashback with Ben (p. 1262) Suicide as means to get quick money References <http://education.yahoo.com/homework_help/cliffsnotes/death _of_a_salesman/> < http://www.bellmore-merrick.k12.ny.us/death.html> < http://www.gradesaver.com/classicnotes/titles/salesman> < http://www.homework-online.com/doas/index.asp> < http://www.novelguide.com/deathofasalesman/index.html> < http://www.revision-notes.co.uk/revision/16.html> <http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/salesman/> FINS.