Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?
Sympathetic, Candid, Mocking
The tone is apparent primarily through the play’s stage directions. The directions are sensitive to the very real pain suffered by the characters. However, in its frankness, the tone is also mocking of Willy’s blind acceptance of a very hollow, materialistic version of the American Dream.