Lesson Plan : Death of a Salesman - Nature of Salesmen

Teacher Name:
 M. I. Friedman
 Grade 11-12
 Literature Activities

 The Salesman: An American Phenomenon
 Students will continue their examination of the sales profession, and its connection with the American dream.
 Aim: How does the insubstantial nature of white-collar jobs, as opposed to blue collar jobs, explain Willy's character? Outcomes: Students will understand the symbolic aspects of "the Salesman"; they will understand how the nature of the job defines the Salesman--in this case, Willy Loman.
 Students will understand the symbolic aspects, by exploring the significance of the selling profession to Willy's dream.
 Death of a Salesman "Willy the Salesman" handout "Dave Singleman: The Death of a Salesman" handout
 Quick Write: Briefly describe what you see as the perfect job for you--one that would help you achieve your verison of the American dream. Be as specific as you can--do not simply say "a job where I can make alot of money." Turn and Talk: Have the students discuss their ideal jobs with their groups.
 Read-Aloud: 1. Read pp. 84 - 87 aloud. 2. Teacher reads Willy, and assigns Linda and Ben. Classroom Discussion: 1. How does Willy feel about the selling profession? 2. Look at Willy's speech, about Dave Singleman, on p. 81. How does this serve to explain Willy's feeling about his profession? 3. What does Ben's attitude toward the selling profession seem to be? If we remember that Ben is in Willy's imagination, what does this suggest about Willy's subconscious feelings about selling? Why do you suppose he has these subconscious feelings? 4. How does Ben's attitude toward selling compare to Willy's attitude toward Biff's farm work?
 1. Allow students who prefer working alone to work alone on the handout. 2. Circulate, and work on the handout with individuals, pairs, and groups that have difficulty understanding the questions.
Checking For Understanding:
 Have the students share their responses to the handout with the class.
 Summation: What have we learned about Willy's character, from examining his conflicting attitudes toward his profession, and the nature of white-collar jobs? Homework: Complete "Dave Singleman: The Death of a Salesman" handout.

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