Miller’s Death of a Salesman & Writing Poetry We’ve read several poems highlighting father/child (more specifically the father/son) relationship. Hoyden’s ‘Those Winter Sundays,” Haynes “Digging,” and Reroute’s “My Papa’s Waltz” examine the eventual understandings that grown sons acquire regarding their fathers’ behaviors, attitudes, choices, etc. Witnessed as they (the sons) were ‘growing up. ‘ Death of a Salesman highlights the long-range impact a father, Wily Loan, has on his sons, Biff and Happy. The story is as complex as the relationship each son experiences with his father.
Traditionally, literary analysis and interpretation finds its voice in substantive discussion or in the written essay. Why not have some fun for a change? As students of literature, our task is to strengthen and refine our understandings and enjoyment of literature, people and the world around us. We read so that we can learn. We write so that we can enter into the ongoing conversation of the ‘Humanities. ‘ We examine the elements of literature and begin to use them ourselves. So, let’s write poetry about a son and his father… Your tasks: Demonstrate significant understanding of a two literary characters.
Consider he themes, the plot, the language and characterization presented in the play. Assume the POP of either Biff or Happy. Consider how Will’s actions, attitudes, desires, instruction, treatment of others, life and death affect his son – both in the past, in the present (time of the play) and beyond. Reflect on what poetry accomplishes. (see chi 22-23 of Serener) Consider the poetry models found in Hayden, Reroute, Haney. Discuss the play and the poems (in your head, with fellow students, with your instructor). Make lists of Character attributes Significant events Your own impressions BEST WORDS to impart meaning in a poetic way!