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Death of a Salesman

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Overview

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, ...
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New York 1981 Cloth First Thus About Fine in No Dw as Issued jacket Hardcover Boxed Edition. Signed by the Author Spine slightly faded as well as the top edge of the slipcase. ... special limited illustrated edition of which this is # 122 of 500 copies. Read more Show Less

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Author signed limited edition (#333 of 500) 1981 Viking Press illustrated reissue edition red cloth in matching slipcase with gold signature facsimile on both. Signed by author in ... black ink on the half title page, top edge gilt, book and slipcase are clean tight and unmarked., no soil or damage. Please email for photos. Read more Show Less

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1981 Hard cover First edition. Fine. Signed by author. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. Audience: General/trade. Viking, New York, 1981. hardcover. Book ... Condition: fine. Limited. Number 180 of a special autograph editionj limited to 500 copies signed by Arthur Miller. Fine in near-fine slipcase. Illustrated with photos of scenes from different performances. 8vo, brick colored linen; matching slipcase. New York: Viking, (1981). Limited First Edition. Read more Show Less

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Photo's NYC 1981 Hard cover Limited Edition #114 Very good. No dust jacket. 139 p. Includes illustrations. All rusr color cloth W/ Millers name in gold script on cover & case. ... Gold lettering on bit faded spine. -Limited to 500 signed copies this is # 114-Ink signed on first title page-All pages clean & unmarked. -Not Library copy-No Owner-8 pgs stage photo's. -EPP's W/ original stage set by Mielziner. -Sent US domestic postage & No priority mailings-Slipcase & Book MINT for the collector of the theatre. -Thanks...Mel Shelf 9 Read more Show Less

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Death of a Salesman: Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and a Requiem

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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
A contemporary classic....Listen to this album.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670261574
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/30/1981
  • Series: Twentieth-Century Classics Series
  • Product dimensions: 20.00 (w) x 20.00 (h) x 20.00 (d)

Meet 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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Read an Excerpt

INTRODUCTION
Note to Teacher

 

ABOUT ARTHUR MILLER

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.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Preparing to Read

  1. How is the American Dream characteristic of American ideals and philosophy? What are the differences between the materialistic and the idealistic values associated with the American Dream?

Understanding the Story

Act One

Writing Responses

Exploring Further

* included in the Viking Critical Library edition
** excerpted in the Viking Critical Library edition

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 136 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(43)

4 Star

(41)

3 Star

(24)

2 Star

(16)

1 Star

(12)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 136 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2001

    Keeps you thinking

    I read this book for an AP English Summer Reading assignment and quite enjoyed it. It was a bit hard to follow at first but once you get started you start to understand more. It's a sad but interesting story. Warning: It's not for light readers there is depth to it so it requires a bit of thinking on the readers part.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2001

    I read this for class

    Death of a Saleman is an excellent play which everyone should read. I read it for my AP English and Composition class. There are many hidden facts and information which make the play more interesting and more complex then you may not see the first time you read it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2002

    Tragic Portrayal of the American Dream

    Miller's play is an intimate study of the tragedy one family faces and their singular reaction to it. The characters are so rich in their depiction of disillusionment, and they vividly exemplify the intense desire for an easier life. I thoroughly enjoyed this play.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    Death of a Salesman: Book Review

    This novel dramatically reveals the struggles of capitalism compared to the communist society. The characters in the play convey strong emotions as Willy, the father of the family, starts losing his sanity because of the harshness of the capitalistic system. It seems that as hard as Willy tries he can never get to be a part of the Bourgeoisie society like he dreams. His loving wife supports him throughout the play always joining in on his dreams of wealth. He has two sons, Biff and Happy, which serve as foil characters to each other since Happy supports the system while Biff does not. This play was generally easy to read and serves as an excellent novel to teach in middle schools and high schools because it helps teach about capitalism v. Marxism. Willy's passionate attitude about finding wealth keeps you interested since it causes drama all throughout the play. It is recommended to read this book especially if economic-related novels are well-favored. Either way it is interesting to see the downfalls of the capitalistic society and what it causes people to do just so they can be happy.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A must read, but not if you're already depressed

    Valuable literary experience, but so profoundly depressing. Definitely not something to read while you're trying to enjoy a vacation. Don't read it until our current economic depression is over.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2009

    Oh my God.

    This book was probably the most agitating book I have ever had to read. I hated it. The main character, Willy, is a delusional, egotistical coward who cannot grasp the true reality of situations. He lies to himself as well as others to make himself appear better. He drives his son, Biff, away and completely ignores his loyal son, Happy. He is the man you love to hate.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    i read it for school

    Death of a salesman wow what can I say about it? It was good but very depressing and it had a lot of deep meaning and you really need to be able to read between the lines to understand it well. It was hard to fallow because it switch between memories so often. I only recommend this book if you feel like being deep, you¿re a good reader, and you really have nothing else to read. I liked but if you¿re a normal thinker and don¿t really think about what your reading then you really won¿t like this book and you shouldn¿t read it because you won¿t give it enough respect

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2002

    Some people are just dumb

    I have seen some really bad reviews here. Some said that Death of a Salesman was the worst book ever. Now I can imagine that some may not think as highly as I do of the book, but it can never be considered the worst ever. Those people obviously do not understand the true meaning and messages of the book, the things that maake Death of a Salesman a timeless masterpiece. For you dumb shmucks out there, some thing the book was really about: communism; capitalism- in the cold and callous business world, personal connections and compassion and comprimised for profit and performace; trying to fulfill one's dreams with his children; escape from an undesirable life; sacrifice; -- just to name a few. So, before you rip on a book, or anything, make sure you fully understand it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2002

    Death of the American Dream

    Though to many the play can seem dull and dreary, it cannot leave you untouched. It makes you internally search, wondering if you too are like Willy, reaching for something that will never be grasped. Willy was always searching for his own diamond, yet only in death could he find it. The play is simplistic at times, but one would have to take some serious thought in order to understand all of its aspects. You must mull over it for awhile and turn it over in your mind a few times before being able to truely understand and appreciate it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2001

    Excellent Drama

    Miller's view on the American Dream symbolizes the culture of Willy Loman and how he reacts toward the different situations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller is an eye openi

    "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller is an eye opening collision of idealism and the "American Dream" with the harsh realities of everyday life. This dramatic play gives Arthur's strong opinions on success in America. Miller's own family was successful in business and was very wealthy up until the Wall Street Crash of 1929, which left them nearly broke. This personal connection to the plot makes the emotional appeals to the audience very effective. Amidst the delusion of Willy's success as a businessman, Biff as a well-liked and respected worker, and Linda and Willy's marriage as being immaculate, the message that not everything is perfect contrasts quite sharply as we begin to discover what is wrong with Willy.

    When we get introduced to Willy and his family, everything appears to be very idealistic: a husband that has no problem providing for the family, two sons with a great amount of potential, and a caring wife. But as the blinds come off of the household, the vision of perfection becomes unraveled, and for the most part, what seems true proves to be the opposite. I found many of the feelings of chaos and uncertainty very relatable but also kind of terrifying. The suggestion that success can be but an illusion is a convicting one for someone who is about to go to college and begin to try succeeding in life. It is a powerful reminder that a multi-perceptive view of the world is so crucial, as Biff learns later in the play as he copes with all that has happened. Before reading this play, I had considered probably my whole life that success does not look the same to each person, but this play presented me with the possibility that failure could still be masked as success, which has made me more cautious (or knowingly daring) with the decisions I make in the future. Overall, the play was one I would love to see done onstage sometime, but also a very powerful script that will stay with me for awhile.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    The book is excellent, but the Nook rendering is very disappoint

    The book is excellent, but the Nook rendering is very disappointing. No matter what text size I select, the formatting  is off: 1-word lines abound, the indents are off, and the reading experience is considerably compromised.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    And yet he lives on

    Arthur Miller describes a families desperate attempt to cling to the American dream while simultaneously bringing the utopian fantasy life crashing down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2014

    TL;DR

    Too long; Didn't read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013

    Quick read

    I had read this short play and I found myself amazed at how I actually liked the plotline. It is easy to connect with the main character. Overall a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    Pretty good

    I love arthur miller and love reading plays. Don't read if you're looking for something uplifting, though!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    Anyone that does not appreciate the story of the Loman family (i

    Anyone that does not appreciate the story of the Loman family (its about the entire family, not just Willy), complain about how "boring" the story is, or fails to find any meaning in the story, is a stupid person. Plain and simple. Go read the Hunger Games or some ish. In short, everyone who rated Death of a Salesmen 1 Star was basically ranking their intelligence the same.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    Sam.p.ou

    How the frik are you posting from 2001

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  • Posted March 24, 2013

    Very Good and Emotional

    Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller is the story of an old and increasingly unsuccessful salesman named Willie. Willie grows crazier and crazier and has more and more flashbacks to different moments in his life that he realized could have changed his entire life, if he had done one thing different. When his two sons, Biff and Happy, come to visit for a while, he becomes more depressed after seeing how much of a failure Biff is, and how seeing that no matter how many different women Happy can get, he will never be able to get a wife, or impress his father the way that Biff used to. With an emotional ending that leaves you satisfied and impressed, Death of a Salesman was a very good play.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    Its ook Its ok.....

    The book didnt really get my attention in the beginning, but i like that its a play

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