Editorial Writings: Following Brent Staples

I chose to follow Brent Staples for our summer assignment

Brent Staples enjoys writing mainly about education, race and culture. Mostly college boards around the world read his articles. I chose to follow him because of mainly what he writes about: education, culture, and race. What really was a neon flag for me was the culture aspect. I LOVE learning about culture around the world and getting to know how life really is for other people besides just Americans. But, I do enjoy reading American culture as well, for it does enlighten me by understanding the way others do things similar to the way I do them. What also is important is how others have different outlooks on certain notions and making a living.

Overall, his articles and essays relate to current events and issues with past events as well. I look forward to reading more of his articles and I hope to discover more specific details about the world that we live in, rather than a general aspect that one may find in books.

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Fourth Post: Death of a Salesman

I CANNOT BELIEVE IT!!! The father just died. The ending was rather bittersweet though. He finally found out the truth; that his son loved him all his life. The father had such high hopes for Biff that he didn’t see how he truly loved him so. Also I was thinking about it, and if there was a side you could pick: Biff or Willy’s, whose side would you take at first??

 

In my opinion, I would take Biff’s side, because I understand what it’s like to always try to please your parent and try to have them think so highly of you, but in the end, you want to tell them what’s going in your mind and what you truly think about when something happens. I don’t know, I feel more related to Biff in this situation. Feel free to share your opinion as well, I would like to know.

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Post-Death of A Salesman

Towards the beginning of the book, I thought that the entire play was going to be a mystery murder or something along those lines, however the title and the first flute noises fooled me. It was basically Willy’s journey to discover the ‘American Dream’ and in my opinion, the true feelings of life and love. 

 

The overall theme of the book did actually coordinate with the veneer of the American Dream, in my opinion. Everyone may have their own vision of the ‘American Dream,’ however all dreams relate to one specific theme; wanting something one can’t have. This specifically blinds the people to where he or she is so distracted and simply blinded by this dream that he or she can’t see the love in front of them This occurred with Willy. He was so focused on what he wanted his son to be and how successful he had hoped he would be and was blinded by the hopes and the dreams he wished he could have, which guarded Willy from seeing the true love his son had for him all this time. It’s sort of touching in the end as well that he does realize this; it’s a shame he had to die though, which makes everything a little bittersweet.

Another theme I noticed was that lying can keep people sane. The truth holds within it, several consequences, as does lying. However, in this situation, lying was protecting Willy to completely go insane. This mostly occurred with Linda and Hap. More specifically, Hap said that they would lie to Willy and tell him that Biff had an appointment with Bill Oliver the next day for lunch and then overtime would never ‘contact Biff back’. This kept Willy hopeful (in his ‘American Dream’) that things may in fact turn out okay for him.

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Third Post: Death of a Salesman

I feel as if I have reached the rising action of this play!! I’m about 3/4 of the way through the book and I’m excited that I’m finally understanding things, because things are sort of coming together, however, there are some things that still kerfuffle me. That includes the ‘Ben’ guy, is it Uncle Ben, I believe, and he’s Willy’s brother who moved to Alaska? So Ben, i’m guessing comes in through Willys fantasies and talks to him? This is very confusing, I might have to look this one up.

 

I was sort of right! Ben is Willy’s brother who recently died, and he does see him a great amount of the time in his dream. Linda kind of annoys me, she seems like a hypocrite, sharing both sides and saying one thing to Biff, but a different thing to Willy. Additionally, Happy angered me because he didn’t wanted to tell Willy the truth of what went on between Biff and Bill Oliver earlier that day, when Biff had been trying to tell him the entire time, therefore I think Hap should have left that up to Biff to take care of his own business.

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Third Post: Death of a Salesman

I feel as if I have reached the rising action of this play!! I’m about 3/4 of the way through the book and I’m excited that I’m finally understanding things, because things are sort of coming together, however, there are some things that still kerfuffle me. That includes the ‘Ben’ guy, is it Uncle Ben, I believe, and he’s Willy’s brother who moved to Alaska? So Ben, i’m guessing comes in through Willys fantasies and talks to him? This is very confusing, I might have to look this one up.

 

I was sort of right! Ben is Willy’s brother who recently died, and he does see him a great amount of the time in his dream. Linda kind of annoys me, she seems like a hypocrite, sharing both sides and saying one thing to Biff, but a different thing to Willy. Additionally, Happy angered me because he didn’t wanted to tell Willy the truth of what went on between Biff and Bill Oliver earlier that day, when Biff had been trying to tell him the entire time, therefore I think Hap should have left that up to Biff to take care of his own business.

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“It’s not what you say,…

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it–‘because personality always wins the day'”

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Second Post: Death of a Salesman

This is my second day of reading Death of a Salesman, and I’m rather lost and confused. The author drags out the acts to where readers get lost along the path that the author makes, or maybe it’s just me. Additionally, I just realized that when the sons call their dad ‘pal’ and ‘kid’ it is actually a modern term that is used for adults I guess. Lately, the dreams or fantasies have been about ridiculing the success of Biff and remembering good times with his father and family. I’m still lost on the significance of that, but I’m sure it’ll come to me; the reason as to why he has these fantasies and what it’s doing to him. He’s basically going crazy. 

I also see a new side of the mother. She is very defendant of her husband and scolds Biff and Happy as well and tells Biff something as a child he wouldn’t like to hear, basically saying the closer you come to home, the worse your father acts. That would be pretty depressing to hear if I were him. 

Then it turns out the dad overhears the mother, Biff, and Happy, thats not good! Now the mother is standing up for Biff. Who’s side is she on? This is a very long night for the Loman family.

The million dollar idea would never work in modern day concepts. I chuckled at their excitement. 

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“Lick the world! You guy…

“Lick the world! You guys together could absolutely lick the civilized world.”

This is my second day of reading Death of a Salesman, and I’m rather lost and confused. The author drags out the acts to where readers get lost along the path that the author makes, or maybe it’s just me. Additionally, I just realized that when the sons call their dad ‘pal’ and ‘kid’ it is actually a modern term that is used for adults I guess. Lately, the dreams or fantasies have been about ridiculing the success of Biff and remembering good times with his father and family. I’m still lost on the significance of that, but I’m sure it’ll come to me; the reason as to why he has these fantasies and what it’s doing to him. He’s basically going crazy. 

I also see a new side of the mother. She is very defendant of her husband and scolds Biff and Happy as well and tells Biff something as a child he wouldn’t like to hear, basically saying the closer you come to home, the worse your father acts. That would be pretty depressing to hear if I were him. 

Then it turns out the dad overhears the mother, Biff, and Happy, thats not good! Now the mother is standing up for Biff. Who’s side is she on? This is a very long night for the Loman family.

The million dollar idea would never work in modern day concepts. I chuckled at their excitement. 

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First Post: Death of a Salesman: Thoughts

Just opening this play novel, I read the description of how everything is tediously laid out, telling myself I will remember where everything is. After reading it, I don’t really remember much of anything except for four stairs. Therefore, I rip out page 104 and kept it by the book for further help. At first, Willy is having trouble because he went to Yonkers, and didn’t really remember driving; so that makes me think that there is something that happened earlier in that day that caused him to be like that; he though it was the coffee, but I i think it’s something more. Then I see that he’s been basically day dreaming and getting side-tracked. He simply says that he will set things straight tomorrow and as society guesses, the woman is suggested to make a sandwich. Furthermore, I think that Willy is extremely bipolar after work or wherever he was. Strangely afterwards, the music of the flute begins to play, and that always means something. This makes the fact that ‘dreaming’ or certain aspects of ‘thinking’ are triggered by Willy, but they aren’t just any common thoughts it seems. (p.12) Finally, readers discover the relationship of the two boys and how wild and crazy they seemed to be. They were brother best friends, now having a smoke together talking about the old times; i think that’s quite adorable: brotherly love. As I continue to read this, I develop into the dream and it seems that the dad, Willy, is thinking about old times with his sons and traveling around. However, I can’t figure out what his occupation is. Overall, the characters are characterized and described very well through both direct characterization and indirect characterization, which is mostly seen to describe the dad. The father also seems to be the main character of the story. I am quite fond of how the play is starting, but can’t stop expecting an event of mystery to occur, mostly because of the way the title influence what to be prepared for, therefore I feel like this is a mystery.

 

Difficult Words identified: 1. mercurial: fickle 2. callouses: the things on your feet and hand, knew what they were; didn’t know they were spelled this way. 3. jovial (juvenile joy??) happy, hearty. 

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