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Death of a Salesman (Viking Critical Library) Paperback – January 1, 1996
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"So simple, central, and terrible that the run of playwrights would neither care nor dare to attempt it." —Time
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Top Customer Reviews
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...).
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.Read more ›
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
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the few plays that reads well as a book. Miller is excellent at this and presenting lessons in an entertaining way.Published 10 months ago by killarney1107
Death of a Salesman is a well-written tragedy by Arthur Miller and is leagues better than his other play called All My Sons. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Mr. Math Expert
This edition provides a powerful edge to versions that contain the script only. The introduction is insightful and well-written, providing commentary on the most salient... Read morePublished 19 months ago by movielover
In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller examines the American Dream through conflicts in the Loman family. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Leonard Seet
This book came in with the projected dates. Book was in the condition that was described. Would recommend to use them.Published on September 13, 2013 by Beth
I use this in my classroom. The kids seem to enjoy the novel and it is easy to carry and read.Published on August 29, 2013 by Jill Steffey
Again, this book was ordered for my son as part of his reading requirements for the IB curriculum. Book arrived sooner than was promised, in new condition, and at a great price.Published on April 30, 2013 by Danny L.