HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Loading...

Death of a Salesman (1948)

by Arthur Miller

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,08259507 (3.69)183
  1. 20
    All My Sons by Arthur Miller (timspalding)
    timspalding: Similar, if not as good.
  2. 10
    Our Town by Thornton Wilder (kxlly)
  3. 00
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (FFortuna)
  4. 01
    1933 Was A Bad Year by John Fante (Babou_wk)
    Babou_wk: Le fils refuse de suivre la carrière professionnelle de son père.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 183 mentions

English (55)  Spanish (3)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  All languages (60)
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller is a painful examination of the American Dream and how the pursuit of it can ultimately lead to destruction. Willy Loman, the destructively insecure protagonist, is a painfully ordinary man who makes several destructive choices and does not have a firm grip on life, frequently escaping into fantasy. His own sons conclude that Willy had the "wrong dream" and instead of being a travelling salesman, should have been a carpenter or a rustic worker. Instead his sons watch his dream and eventually his life fall apart.

Written in a manner similar to stream-of-conscious, Miller often merges the present setting of the play with events in the past only Willy can see and interact with. This is often confusing as the action shifts into the past frequently during present scenes, which reflect Willy's deteriorating mental state.

Overall then, this play does expose the emptiness of consumerism and the American Dream - pursuit of which can ruin lives physically and spiritually, yet in doing so Miller writes a deeply dark and depressing play that does little to inspire the reader, instead causing self-reflection on their own dreams.

Goodreads does not allow half-stars but the actual rating is more akin to 2½ stars. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
Ugh, second time I've had to read this for a college class...really depressing slice-of-life about a man in denial, who is also slowly losing his mind. ( )
  vonze | Feb 6, 2014 |
Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, is a very interesting play. The overall concept that it focuses on is the American Dream. The man chasing that dream, Willy Loman, has a very tough time doing so. Willy has a serious problem. He sets unrealistic expectations for himself and his two sons, Happy and Biff. Ironically, Willy's brother, Ben, is a very successful man due to his African conquests. Willy always comes up with ridiculous ideas for his sons to achieve success. For example, he gets them going about some dream of starting a sporting goods company. Unfortunately this never works. To add to Willy's complications, we learn that he attempts to take his own life multiple times. At some points it seems like Willy is a bad man, but really he is not. He is a sad soul trapped in confusion and we should feel sympathy for him.

I recommend this book to all readers. Situations like Willy's are present in real life whether we realize it or not. We all want to succeed in our society and live the "American Dream" but that may be a stretch. Death of a Salesman is a rather emotional book that can be enjoyed by a diversity of readers.
  Thomas28 | Jan 23, 2014 |
Death of a Salesman is a play that tells the story of a man named Willy Loman. Willy has been chasing after the American Dream his whole life, but has never been able to achieve it. However, Willy never loses faith in that one day either him or his two sons, named Biff and Happy, will achieve it. Willy often looks back on his life wishing he had done things differently, such as go to Africa with his brother Ben, which would've made him rich. Instead, Willy is stuck in a terrible life that is full of lies. One day, Willy is fired from his job, but he still believes that Biff will achieve the Dream by starting his own business with Happy. Instead, Biff fails at trying to work again, so Willy thinks he only has one choice. That choice is to kill himself, as he has been saving up money in life insurance and that with his death, his family will finally achieve the American Dream by getting the insurance money. ( )
  dberk3 | Jan 23, 2014 |
This play was certainly above average but I would not go so far as to say it was outstanding. The overall best aspect of this play is the underlying theme of the American dream. The main character, Willy, gets so carried away with trying to achieve it that he pushes himself over the edge into the realm of insanity. Every character is thoroughly developed and the consequences of Willy's actions affect all of those around him. While some of the characters make be alike to him, the others who have different personalities than he does react in varied ways to his actions and overwhelming passion. The reason the play did not make it into the spectacular category is that there were some details about the setting that just not could be incorporated into spoken dialogue. That being said, this is a play, and the setting does not have to be spoken when the play is seen performed on stage. My main recommendation with this work is to first read this play to create your own mental vision of the different scenes and to enjoy a great story, and if you feel the same way I do then see it performed on stage or watch it on film. ( )
  Aspyn | Jan 16, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

Is contained in

Has the adaptation

Has as a study

Has as a student's study guide

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
A melody is heard, played upon a flute.
Quotations
You don't understand: Willy was a salesman. And for a salesman, there is no rock bottom to the life... He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back - that's an earthquake.
He's liked, but he's not well liked.
Biff : Shouldn’t we do anything?

Linda : Oh, my dear, you should do a lot of things, but there’s nothing to do, so go to sleep.
Charley : Howard fired you?

Willy : That snotnose. Imagine that? I named him. I named him Howard.

Charley : Willy, when’re you gonna realize that them things don’t mean anything? You named him Howard, but you can’t sell that. The only thing you got in this world is what you can sell. And the funny thing is that you’re a salesman, and you don’t know that.

Willy : I’ve always tried to think otherwise, I guess. I always felt that if a man was impressive, and well liked, that nothing-

Charley : Why must everybody like you? Who liked J. P. Morgan? Was he impressive?...But with his pockets on he was very well liked.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140481346, Paperback)

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." —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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:38 -0400)

(see all 6 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)

» see all 11 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
107 avail.
74 wanted
9 pay7 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.69)
0.5 5
1 40
1.5 16
2 133
2.5 29
3 364
3.5 77
4 517
4.5 57
5 367

Audible.com

Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,610,417 books! | Top bar: Always visible