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Questions

Death of a Salesman Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. What does each major character in Death of a Salesman seem to want? How do their interests align or conflict? How does what each character wants differ from what each has or gets?
  2. Consider Willy’s assertion that being well liked is tantamount to success. Does this philosophy hold true? What is the relationship between friendships, popularity, and success in Death of a Salesman?
  3. Is Willy a failure?
  4. Is Biff right in saying of Willy that "the man didn’t know who he was?"
  5. How are Happy and Biff each impacted by Willy’s daunting expectations for them? How might Happy’s behavior towards women and Biff’s thievery be understood in this context?
  6. How does Death of a Salesman critique today’s capitalist society? The American Dream?
  7. How does the play’s title, Death of a Salesman, contrast the ideal and the real in the play?

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