Death of A Salesman

Death of A Salesman

Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and A Requiem

Book - 1976
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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
Publisher: Harmondsworth, England : Penguin Books, 1976
ISBN: 9780140481341
Branch Call Number: 812.52/MIL


From the critics

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Oct 14, 2020

Written by Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman is centered on a perfectly average man during a time when American exceptionalism is seen as the norm. Willy Loman is a simple man who wants to provide for his family, but is failing in his goal. What’s worse, he failed to set his children up for success- His son Happy is depressed and his son Biff never wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. Death of a Salesman is popular because it follows all the hallmarks of a tragedy, but from the perspective of an unassuming man rather than a medieval king or prince. It is interesting, thought-provoking, and a good read for all.

Jul 07, 2020

Death of a Salesman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatic play that dives into the nuances of the American Dream. A classic play about a father who realizes that he has failed to teach his children what is truly important and, as a result, has essentially ruined their lives. The father, Willy Loman, used to spend a lot of time with his two sons Biff and Happy. During this time, however, he neglected to teach them important life skills. So, when the sons grew up things started to change because Biff's whole life began collapsing around him. With Willy stuck in his dead end job his entire life and Biff starting to hate his dad for dooming him forever, a plot quickly starts building up, leading to a very unexpected turn of events. This drama is a powerful tragedy with a compelling and educational story that enlightens the reader about a very important problem: finding the true American dream. A fast-paced play, it makes a very enjoyable read -- one that I would recommend to teen and adult readers alike.
Recommended age: 14+

Jul 06, 2020

The play Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, is an extremely relevant story to the current day because it explores themes of family, gender roles and, the American dream. The play follows a failing and aging salesman named Willy Loman, who only makes a living by selling to his friends. He has to support his family, of Biff, a failed sports prodigy, and Happy, a womanizer who simply does not know any better. The play explores gender roles in the household and the responsibilities that certain people are expected to take. The play deals with mental health. I thought the play was a little on the short side but it was a fascinating read all around, I would rate it 12+

Mar 12, 2020


Dec 27, 2019

The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller was amazing. I actually had to read this play for class and I was honestly disappointed at first. Once I got to reading, I realized that the play was super short, but filled with so many interesting concepts and themes. For example, Willy Loman is consumed in his pride, and it ends up destroying his life. I really liked this play because I had the opportunity to understand how a person’s own flaws can ultimately lead to their self destruction in life! Also, it was a pretty sad read. Despite it only being around 100 pages, the play was very heartbreaking (as one could probably assume from the title). I would rate this play a 5/5. @Montgomery of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

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.

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.

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

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Jul 07, 2020

ShreBas thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Feb 11, 2020

PiggyReads thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Aug 24, 2017

Alanreviews thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jun 09, 2015

Nymeria23 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jul 21, 2008

kokosowe thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Aug 24, 2017

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

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.

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.


Add a Summary
Jun 09, 2015

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


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Jun 09, 2015

Coarse Language: Willy does some swearing

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