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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Death of a Salesman (Viking Critical Library) Paperback – January 1, 1996

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

 "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

About the Author

Arthur Miller was born in New York City in 1915 and studied at the University of Michigan. His plays include All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953), A View from the Bridge and A Memory of Two Mondays (1955), After the Fall (1963), Incident at Vichy (1964), The Price (1968), The Creation of the World and Other Business (1972) and The American Clock. He has also written two novels, Focus (1945), and The Misfits, which was filmed in 1960, and the text for In Russia (1969), Chinese Encounters (1979), and In the Country (1977), three books of photographs by his wife, Inge Morath. More recent works include a memoir, Timebends (1987), and the plays The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (1991), The Last Yankee (1993), Broken Glass (1993), which won the Olivier Award for Best Play of the London Season, and Mr. Peter's Connections (1998). His latest book is On Politics and the Art of Acting. Miller was granted with the 2001 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He has twice won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and in 1949 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised ed. edition (January 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140247734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140247732
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
When you get down to it, really, the only reasons for buying one version of a play are 1) price, 2) readability (i.e., the font, size of print, etc.), and 3) accompanying analysis/essays. As for myself, the third reason is the most important. This version is the best I've seen for accompanying analysis. It has a number of essays and an interview by Arthur Miller himself and reviews of the play by others. The works written by Miler were of the most interest to me, but there is plenty here. Admittedly, if price is most important to you, there are cheaper versions out there, but you won't get what this version offers. To me, though, this version is worth the money.
And do I need to mention this is a damn good play? But, as I said, you'll get the same play regardless of which version you pick up (at least, I would hope...).
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Format: Paperback
Willy Loman is the protagonist of the finest play ever written by an American. Eugene O'Neill and especially Tennessee Williams entertain perspectives on life that are much too neurotic to suit me. Arthur Miller's genius resulted in several wonderful plays, including After the Fall and The Crucible, but it is Death of a Salesman that stands in a class by itself as the quintessential American play. Yet, as Miller himself was quick to point out, Willy Loman's appeal is universal. Salesman has mesmerized audiences around the world because it treats a question that is basic to the human condition: "What does it mean for a person to have integrity?"

I've been thinking a lot lately about Willy Loman, as though he was a real person I once met and could never get out of my mind. I first met Willy when I was a young man studying acting with the Strasbergs in New York. Biff Loman was one of my favorite roles in class. I felt that he was me. Lacking the life experience to fully appreciate Willy, I identified more with Biff. One of the admirable qualities of Salesman is that it is possible to regard Linda or Biff or Happy as the main character depending upon who you are and where you are in life. Actually, Salesman takes place in Willy's mind so they are all manifestations of the salesman.

One of the quirky aspects of Death of a Salesman is that so many people think it is a play about a salesman. Miller uses the salesman's role as a metaphor for the struggle to find the meaning of life. Willy could just as well be a butcher or a proctologist, but Miller understood that we are all salesmen in a way. We spend so much effort selling - to ourselves and others - the entity that we take to be "me.
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Format: Paperback
DRAMA
Real vs. Virtual American Dream
By Kevin Biederer

Arthur Miller�s 1949 drama basically revolves around the American dream of a father who makes many mental errors that lead to his downfall.
The inner life of the father, Willy, is presented by the use of monologs in his head. He is a washed up salesman that does not realize it, and tries to rub off his overwhelming cockiness on his two sons.
Biff, one of his sons, transforms from a cocky, young football player into a doubtful, young man. Biff understands the reality of life through the falseness of the American dream, which ultimately, destroys his father who is living a virtual American dream. If Biff had listened to his father his whole life, he would still just be a cocky, young football player. Instead Biff realizes what a, �ridiculous lie [his] life has been!� (104). He

Death of a Salesman
By Arthur Miller
139 pages
realizes he does not want to follow in his father�s footsteps and become a washed up salesman. Biff just wants to live a normal life where Willy is not pressuring him about everything. Willy is one of those fathers who think their child is the greatest at everything no matter what. That is good in some cases, but not when Willy sets unrealistic goals for his child.
This drama portrays how many parents treat their children. Most parents try to push their children, but some go over the line, as seen in this drama. But what Willy has truly failed in is his family life and his married life. That is the corruption of the true American dream.
This drama deserves five stars because it always keeps you on your feet just waiting to see what will happen next.
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no reviews..Just an average guy but I've read it more than once and have seen the play. It a good story but difficult to read as we all weaken with age and become lesser men. I Liked Lee J Cobb's version best although Fredric March did the original I believe. Fredric was the star of "Inherit the Wind as Mathew Brady a different story but a similar theme.....Excellent Story but As Mick said what a drag it is getting old
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Format: Paperback
The novel, the theater, and cinema--perhaps the three most popular and enduring arts of the 20th century, with the last practically an indigenous American invention (with all due apologies to the Lumiere brothers, George Melies, and France in general). And that never-exhausted, always relevant and topical subject (suddenly seeming more controversial than ever), the "American Dream," has at least one essential, archetypal text in each of the three media. "The Great Gatsby" is still the leading contender in the novel; "Citizen Kane" is the acclaimed, indispensable film text (notwithstanding a maverick's personal preference for Altman's "Nashville"); "Death of a Salesman" cuts right to the heart of the grand national illusion with a surgical precision that O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, William Inge or any other playwright simply can't match.

If you've read or seen the play, you may wish to start at the end this time--the Requiem. After seeing it as a college freshman (performed by the Guthrie in Minneapolis), I experienced the full effects of an Aristotelian catharsis before even knowing what it was. At that time the easiest character to identify with was Biff--the straight-talking, tell-it-like-it-is, loving but self-analytical son who pronounces his father's the "wrong" dream, a lie that had poisoned family relations for his entire life. But as you continue reading through the Requiem you take seriously the eulogies of the remaining three characters, and as the years go by, each has the potential to become the definitive judgment upon the life of Willie Loman, the American dream, and even one's own life-story.
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