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Death of a Salesman: Text and Criticism by…
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Death of a Salesman: Text and Criticism (original 1967; edition 1969)

by Arthur Miller, Gerald Weales (Editor)

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1,00878,471 (3.69)4
Member:rsubber
Title:Death of a Salesman: Text and Criticism
Authors:Arthur Miller
Other authors:Gerald Weales (Editor)
Info:The Viking Press Inc., New York - The Viking Critical Library - Sixth Printing
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:play, literary criticism

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Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (1967)

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English (6)  Dutch (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
A truly sad story, but one that appealed to me. Well-written and heartwrenching, it is very easy to see why Death of a Salesman is considered a classic. It is about the premature death that comes about when oen deludes oneself into believing something that simply isn't true. ( )
  lizzy-x | Jul 3, 2011 |
I'd heard this play referenced so many times but still knew almost nothing about it. Well, imagine George Costanza if he wasn't played for laughs and had two kids who idolized him and believed all his bullshit. It'd be the saddest thing in the world. In that sense--the pathetic self-inflicted grinding up of a mediocre man determined to appear great--the fact that when greatness is all you value, all else is ashes, and the only other alternative is cutting off your nose to spite your face--this is true tragedy. It's also, of course, a parable on post-industrial capitalism--we can't build our lives on anything real anymore: it's all smoke and mirrors, networking and marketing. Willy Loman thought there was room for the human subject and human sympathy in the machine. He was a positivist in a decentered, structuralist system. He, and his family, paid the price.


It's just gotten worse, too, you know. They had the "installment plan"--we have "financing", or more likely we just throw everything on our credit cards and pretend like it's already paid for. We are liars within liars, and we'll never be exposed like Loman was--because as long as we're not exposed, but live in fear of it, we can go on consuming, feeding the machine. Capitalism thrives on people who are afraid and have something to prove, and crave the esteem and love of others. Be brave, and love who you are yourself. ( )
3 vote MeditationesMartini | Mar 2, 2011 |
A play of tragedy. A journey through the daily life of an ordinary man with a self misconception, which ultimately leads his downfall.
Students can use this play to come to understand the fallacies of the "American Dream" in an ordinary American man.
Lesson Plan suggestion:
http://ubdeducators.wikispaces.com/Dana+Death+of+a+Salesman+Unit ( )
  salisb27 | Nov 1, 2010 |
This play seemed quite revolutionary and interesting when I read it in my Intro to Drama class in undergrad studies, but now it seems overdone. I am probably just jaded, though. :) If you are looking for deep thoughts, this play might not be it. However, I think I read it (and watched it) in the perfect spot--as an introduction to drama. No more, no less. ( )
  amandacb | Mar 18, 2010 |
Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, captures the ongoing hope to reach the American Dream. I thought this play was well written in a way that all men could relate. Willy loman, the main character, is an elderly salesman who is not making enough money to support his family. His whole life he lived by the motto, "if you are well liked, you will succeed". But this motto never served to be true in the eyes of the Loman family. Willy's two sons Biff and Happy are home throughout the play. Biff was once an all-star quarterback at high school who was headed for the University of Virginia to play football, but after failing his math regents his whole life turns upside down. Happy, on the other hand, is the neglected child. He spends much of the novel trying to get his parents attention. He has somewhat of an inferiority complex, but tries to be good. Willy and Biff are constantly fighting about what could have been and what has happened. After a violent dinner that was supposed to be fantastic, Willy storms off away from his "ungrateful,spiteful" sons. Willy wants to live in this fantasy world in which he is a greatly respected salesman and people form all over the country know who he is. In reality, he is a nobody. A nobody who can do nothing right. After many suicide attempts, Willy finally succeeds. Miller creates a tragic drama that shows what happens to people living a money-oriented life.
  mla3048 | Jan 28, 2010 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arthur Millerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Weales, GeraldEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Beyer, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bierman, JudahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, IvorContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, John MasonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clark, EleanorContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clurman, HaroldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
de Schweinitz, GeorgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillingham, William B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fuller, A. HowardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Garland, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gassner, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hawkins, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hynes, Joseph A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mielzinger, JoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moody, Walter D.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ross, GeorgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schneider, Daniel E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Seager, AllanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shaw, IrwinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Weales, GeraldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Welty, EudoraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wiegand, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, RaymondContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, TennesseeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Worsley, T. C.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140247734, Paperback)

Willy Loman, the protagonist of Death of a Salesman, has spent his life following the American way, living out his belief in salesmanship as a way to reinvent himself. But somehow the riches and respect he covets have eluded him. At age 63, he searches for the moment his life took a wrong turn, the moment of betrayal that undermined his relationship with his wife and destroyed his relationship with Biff, the son in whom he invested his faith. Willy lives in a fragile world of elaborate excuses and daydreams, conflating past and present in a desperate attempt to make sense of himself and of a world that once promised so much.

Since it was first performed in 1949, Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about the tragic shortcomings of an American dreamer has been recognized as a milestone of the theater. This Viking Critical Library edition of Death of a Salesman contains the complete text of the play, typescript facsimiles, and extensive critical and contextual material including:

Conflicting reviews about its opening night by Robert Garland, Harold Clurman, Eleanor Clark, and others Five articles by Miller on his play, including "Tragedy and the Common Man" and his "Introduction to Collected Plays" Critical essays by John Gassner, Ivor Brown, Joseph A. Hynes, and others General essays on Miller by William Weigand, Allan Seager, and others Analogous works by Eudora Welty, Walter D. Moody, Tennessee Williams, and Irwin Shaw The stage designer's account, presented in selections from Designing for the Theatre by Jo Mielziner An in-depth introduction by the editor, a chronology, a list of topics for discussion and papers, and a bibliography

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:44 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The powerful drama of Willy Loman & his tragic end. 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 extremems 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."… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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