Death of A Salesman

Death of A Salesman

Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and A Requiem

Book - 2000
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Penguin Putnam
The Pulitzer Prize-winning tragedy of a salesman’s deferred American dream

Ever since it was first performed in 1949, Death of a Salesman has been recognized as a milestone of the American theater. In the person of Willy Loman, the aging, failing salesman who makes his living riding on a smile and a shoeshine, Arthur Miller redefined the tragic hero as a man whose dreams are at once insupportably vast and dangerously insubstantial. He has given us a figure whose name has become a symbol for a kind of majestic grandiosity—and a play that compresses epic extremes of humor and anguish, promise and loss, between the four walls of an American living room.

"By common consent, this is one of the finest dramas in the whole range of the American theater." —Brooks Atkinson,The New York Times

"So simple, central, and terrible that the run of playwrights would neither care nor dare to attempt it." —Time

Gardners
Willy Loman is on his last legs. Failing at his job, dismayed at his the failure of his sons, Biff and Happy, to live up to his expectations, and tortured by his jealousy at the success and happiness of his neighbour Charley and his son Bernard, Willy spirals into a well of regret, reminiscence, and a scathing indictment of the ultimate failure...

Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2000
ISBN: 9780141182742
0141182741
Branch Call Number: 812.52 MIL
Characteristics: 112 p. ;,20 cm.

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MirandaJo Feb 06, 2017

I read this play for class in high school; normally, that would mean it was a classic text and, quite frankly, boring. However, I loved this play. It was extremely interesting, and by the last page I was crying my eyes out. I couldn't stop thinking about the meaning of the play for at least a week afterward. It's stayed with me since. I seriously recommend you read this play to complete your literary education.

j
JOLIN WANG
Oct 10, 2015

great story, even though wasn' t interesting at all until Act two. A fantastic book for considering American Dreams, Business World, success etc. really good research and connection material for connected topics. Quite challenging.

n
Nymeria23
Jun 09, 2015

Willy has many flashbacks as he begins to lose touch with reality, and these scenes reveal to us the over-imaginative, boastful, prideful person he is. He favors Biff but feels that now, his son hates him and wants to spite him.
Willy's problem is that he is a walking contradiction. He's so hot and cold it's annoying. And he won't listen to anyone! He hears what he wants to and wraps it up into his messed up mind.
The ending was good, and it definitely was the most interesting part of the book. If you like plays, go ahead and read this. I don't think I would have ever picked it up if I hadn't read it for class.

Kdmullerspy Jul 06, 2014

Great story. Makes you think about the American dream.

fayegro Jan 09, 2014

please cancel

b
britprincess1
Sep 27, 2013

I know that DEATH OF A SALESMAN is a classic and I understand why. Its value is that, when it was written in 1949, it questioned and criticized the consumerist American dream in a way that had never been done before, but in this era of Occupy Wall Street, the message is not as profound as it once was. Dealing so heavily in self-deception and foolish pride, Willy Loman is not a likeable character. I'm not asking for a person who is an angel; I can get behind the antihero archetype quite easily, but Willy Loman fails to hold my interest. I feel no empathy for him, and thus, the entire play misses its mark. Even the pitiful wife character Linda is a disappointment. I truly felt that this play went nowhere and led to an inevitable conclusion that was foreshadowed in such a ham-fisted way that I knew it from page 2. I read this play for recreation, and boy, was I not entertained, and if that's your intention as well, I absolutely would not recommend it. Perhaps you have a more scholarly purpose? If you are forced to do a play from this era about family dynamics, I would recommend you read Tennessee William's CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. It's far more interesting, in my humble opinion.

b
britprincess1
Sep 24, 2013

I know that Death of a Salesman is a classic and I understand why. Its value is that, when it was written in 1949, it questioned and criticized the consumerist American dream in a way that had never been done before, but in this era of Occupy Wall Street, the message is not as profound as it once was. Dealing so heavily in self-deception and foolish pride, Willy Loman is not a likeable character. I'm not asking for a person who is an angel; I can get behind the antihero archetype quite easily, but Willy Loman fails to hold my interest. I feel no empathy for him, and thus, the entire play misses its mark. Even the pitiful wife character Linda is a disappointment. I truly felt that this play went no one and led to an inevitable conclusion that was foreshadowed in such a ham-fisted way that I knew it from page 2. I read this play for recreation, and boy, was I not entertained, and if that's your intention as well, I absolutely would not recommend it. Perhaps you have a more scholarly purpose? If you are forced to do a play from this era about family dynamics, I would recommend you read Tennessee William's "Cat on a Hat Tin Roof". It's far more interesting, in my humble opinion.

r
Rainman
Jun 23, 2013

This book was my first experience with this story, and now I look forward to seeing it on stage. Willy Loman's tale touches on the need all of us feel to leave a mark -- to be somebody people will remember -- when it is the love of those closest to us that means the most.

d
danielestes
Apr 15, 2013

Arthur Miller's award-winning play, Death of a Salesman, has to be seen to be fully appreciated. Reading it will only get you so far.

Some of the subject material, and certainly the slang, peg it to mid-20th century America, and this gives an initial impression that what's to come may no longer be relevant. But once the larger portrait of Willy Loman starts taking shape, the story's timelessness is evident.

vasukis Oct 08, 2012

I am middle of doing my project please accept my renewal

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Quotes

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Alanreviews
Aug 24, 2017

Will you please take that phony dream and burn it before something happens? -Biff

n
Nymeria23
Jun 09, 2015

“The jungle is dark but full of diamonds, Willy.”

black_penguin_254 Mar 19, 2014

A diamond is hard and rough to the touch.

r
Rainman
Jun 23, 2013

Happy: Are you familiar with football?
Girl: No, I'm afraid I'm not.
Happy: Biff is quarterback with the New York Giants.

Age Suitability

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a
Alanreviews
Aug 24, 2017

Alanreviews thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

n
Nymeria23
Jun 09, 2015

Nymeria23 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

k
kokosowe
Jul 21, 2008

kokosowe thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Summary

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Nymeria23
Jun 09, 2015

An aging salesman is dealing with the mistakes of his past, the poor relationship with his sons, and his failing career.

Notices

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n
Nymeria23
Jun 09, 2015

Coarse Language: Willy does some swearing

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