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

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  105,009 ratings  ·  2,049 reviews
Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning play that forever changed the meaning of the American Dream and won multiple Tony Awards for the 2012 Broadway production directed by Mike Nichols and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as the tragic hero Willy Loman and Andrew Garfield as his son Biff Willy Loman, the protagonist of "Death of a Salesman," has spent his life following th...more
ebook, 144 pages
Published May 1st 1998 by Penguin Books (first published 1949)
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RachelAnne
Hate! Hate! Oh, the hate! Arthur Miller does a beautiful job of conveying the emptiness and meaninglessness of his protagonist's life. It left me wanting to jump off a very tall building if only I could overcome the crushing ennui and the conviction that even ending ones life was too meaningless and futile to contemplate. Maybe that means Miller accomplished what he set out to do, but I don't have to like it.
Melki
A small man can be just as exhausted as a great man.

There's something to be said for waiting until later in life to read certain books. The struggles of Willy Loman would have meant little to my younger, more impatient self.
Now, the huge amount of time Loman spends dreaming of his halcyon days strikes a chord with me.

Memory has a way of making everything seem bigger, brighter and better than it actually was.
People have a tendency to dwell on the past when the present turns out to be not as t...more
Michael
I really hate giving this book (well, play) one star. I hate giving any "classic" one star, for that matter. It must have gone down in history for a reason, and is beloved by many. In most classics like this, even if I don't like the story, characters, etc., I usually can find that "spark" that has made it so popular for so many years. But I can honestly say that I found no redeeming qualities in Death of a Salesman. None whatsoever. Sigh.

Maybe I would have been more comfortable actually seeing...more
Nicci
In this book, Arthur Miller's masterpiece, one finds the reason that Miller was blacklisted during the Red Scare. His undisguised longing for a break from the class system and his disdain for the so-called "American Dream" are nothing short of remarkable.

Within Willy Lowman resides the typical American Dream with no reality. Overtaken by industrialism and materialism, this character represents the absolute failure of society's promise of economic prosperity. His life ends in the most tragic and...more
Jonathan
"I don't say he's a great man. Willie Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He's not to be allowed to fall in his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person."

Attention, attention must finally be paid... So sounds out Arthur Miller's cry to observe that every individual, every human being must...more
Brian
Its the classical American tragedy...an anthesis to the cliched American dream.
Mohammed Bantan
“Death of a Salesman” tells the a story of Love, pride, betrayal and friendship. The struggle of William Loman (Willy), an old salesman in the unforgiving world of modern business, and his relation with his loved ones, his wife Linda and his precious sons, Biff and Harold (happy).
The novel is written in an interesting and unique way, as if all the events happened on a theatrical stage with all of the lighting effects, character themes and background . The author wrote the story in great detail...more
Thomas
When I finished reading this book in my AP Literature class, I literally cheered, clapped, and high-fived my friends sitting next to me. The cycle of complete despair had been broken! My soul could now sing a song of optimism and joy!

Before I read this book, I still had a sliver of doubt in my mind. The doubt that I should include a myriad more classics to my reading list, that my brain would rot and rupture under the strain of contemporary fiction.

No. Just, no. The reason I'm giving Death of a...more
Madeline
I think I would've enjoyed seeing this play performed in person, rather than reading the script. This is supposed to be one of the best American plays ever written, and I'm sure that seeing it onstage is a very different experience.
As it is, though, I only read the script, and was disappointed. I know I was supposed to sympathize with the characters, but to do that I first had to like them, which didn't really happen. Willy was thick-headed, his sons were morons, and Linda was so utterly useles...more
Fahad
موت بائع متجول

يبدو أنني حصرت نفسي في شكل وحيد من أشكال الأدب وهو الرواية، لا أدري كيف؟ ولا لماذا؟ ولكني أعرف أن قراءاتي في الرواية تفوق قراءاتي في الشعر والقصص القصيرة والمسرح.

بعدما قرأت هذه المسرحية، وضعت يدي على إجابة ترضيني، في جزء من السؤال، وهو لمَ لا اقرأ في المسرح؟ لأن قراءته بكل بساطة ناقصة، لقد كتبت المسرحية لتمثل، فلذا قراءتها ستكون ناقصة دائماً.

هذه المسرحية صعبة القراءة، يتداخل فيها الماضي والحاضر، لنعيش مأساة ويللي لومان، البائع المتجول، وهو شخصية أبدع آرثر ميلر في صياغتها، كما أب...more
míol mór
If you want money in your pocket
And a top hat on your head
A hot meal on your table
And a blanket on your bed

Well today is grey skies
Tomorrow is tears
You'll have to wait til yesterday is here


Well I'm going to New York City
And I'm leaving on a train
And if you want to stay behind
And wait til I come back again

Well today is grey skies
Tomorrow is tears
You'll have to wait til yesterday is here


If you want to go where the rainbows end
You'll have to say goodbye
All our dreams come true baby up ahead
And it'...more
Cassidy
I really liked this play. Let me tell you why!

First off, the characters are incredibly human. I felt each of them were real people and I was getting a glimpse into their very dysfunctional lives. The father blindly admires his son to the point of idolization. But the problem is, his son is nowhere close to the person he dreams of. This, inversely, leaves a feeling of disappointment in the man who had so much potential.

Maybe I'm a biased reviewer, because I strongly related to Biff's character....more
Christopher
"There are some Pulitzer Prize winning novels or plays that are difficult to understand how they garnered such attention and acclaim. Not so, with this drama by Arthur Miller. There are great depths of meaning composed within this drama. While often interpreted as speaking to the myth and oftentimes futility of the American dream, I think the drama speaks to so much more. [return][return]The ghetto of one's own mind and thinking can become a very dark place. In the main character of Willy Loman,...more
Bruce
In the mid-20th century, when this play was first produced, it was probably seen as an indictment of consumerist society and the endless grind for riches. Today some of that seems a bit dated, at least in its details, although to be sure the materialism of our society has not changed, and the pressure for this kind of success still exists, if the expectations may now be dampened. What struck me most in this play were the interactions within the family, the endless miscommunications, the difficul...more
Lydia
Never ever ever. Never read this unless forced, which considering it was somehow mistakenly identified as a "classic", you will one day be forced to do. I hated every character in the entire play, save one. The main character is a travelling salesman, on the edge of emotionally abusive to his son, and he cheats on his wife, a fact that in and of itself is impressive considering he was able to obtain a wife AND mistress considering his personality. Cheery, eh? It gets better. He's also suicidal....more
JP
This play is so often referenced that you're nearly compelled to read it for the sake of cultural literacy (not that I buy into that concept formally). Arthur Miller produced a tight, dark story about a man who sees the American dream but can't quite grasp it. His family lets him down as much as his career, even more as he realizes they are a product of his influence. This work represented suburban angst turned to tragedy, at a time when "suburbs" probably wasn't yet an available term to use in...more
James
Many years ago my dad went through a phase of trying to improve me - sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. One of his attempts was this book. He bought it for me as a present back in 1986. Twenty-six years later, I've just read it, and I don't think it worked.

Willy Loman is a salesman at the end of his career and his life. A life he's spent chasing 'the American Dream' apparently pretty unsuccessfully. He's full of big dreams and an over-exaggerated sense of past achievements. His family...more
علی
مرگ فروشنده مشهورترین و به اعتبار بسیاری از منتقدان، شاهکار نمایش نامه نویسی آرتور میللر است که بارها در آمریکا و کشورهای دیگر به روی صحنه آمده و از آن (دست کم تا آنجا که من به یاد دارم) سه فیلم سینمایی مشهور هم ساخته شده که آخرینشان با بازی "داستین هوفمن" در نقش "ویلی نومان"، بهترینشان بود. جالب آن که "هوفمن" چند سال پیش از آن، در اقتباس دیگری از این نمایش نامه، نقش پسر "ویلی نومان" را بازی می کرد. این نمایش نامه به اسامی مختلف و توسط مترجمان مختلف به فارسی برگردانده شده و چند کارگردان هم آن را...more
Sunshine
Random fact: Arthur Miller was once married to Marilyn Monroe. Like the theme of the American Dream, it didn't last.

This is one of my favorite plays of all time. Yes, it's very maudlin to the point of depressing. Yes, there's lots of shouting and bitterness. Yes, it's emblematic of my own family at past points, plus steamed broccoli in the food fight. Just Kidding. We just threw popcorn.

Seriously, I think Miller gives a fascinating depiction of not only American idealism, but also the masculin...more
Realini
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

This is one of the best known plays ever. And it is not just one of those popular art forms that the public pays hundreds of millions to see- I’m thinking Transformers, Spider Men, X Men and the like- but an excellent work of art.
It is a compelling story and has strong characters that we empathize with. Strong in the sense that they make a tremendous impact on the viewer, or in my case listener of the play.
Death of a Salesman seems to be controversial for the...more
DC
This, for me, was one difficult book to read. I suppose that's what made it so unique to watch as a play; it's such a daring topic to be openly discussed, especially for those who are living a dream - particularly, the American Dream.

What I saw here, besides an intriguing use of flashbacks to tell a story, are ideals. The ideal of a perfect family. The ideal of an amazing son. The ideal of a great name. The ideals that have the big hot air of pride blown all over them, as, yes, this book is just...more
John Wiswell
This must be what they all read and watched. That awful generation of Graduate Program writers who think a person being unhappy with life makes deep literature. It’s a testament to Arthur Miller’s power that, reading this in a hospital lobby, I can understand why they’d all want to imitate it.

Yes, I feel like the last person alive who hadn’t read Death of a Salesman. If you’ve come in after me: Willy Loman is a salesman who is so emotionally worn out that he needs retirement, but in reality he’s...more
Saurabh Sharma
This classic play by Arthur Miller is a moving and disturbing commentary on the consumerist and economic social model where one is judged by material success and possessions. A man is useful only as long as he contributes to the coffers and useless once he stops. In such a society there's no incentive for emotional and spiritual pursuits or achievements leading to a sense of desolation and turmoil. This is just the state that Willy Loman, the main character in the play finds himself. He was once...more
Billie Pritchett
Death of a Salesman is a play about the fall of Willy Loman, a traveling salesman who in the eyes of his company is growing more insignificant with age. He has a difficult time aligning his public persona and private self. He exudes a public character that is largely BS--that is, he embellishes his abilities and his son's abilities so that he always appears to people as confident. However, he privately knows that he is not as great as he makes himself out to be, and other people know it well, to...more
Franky
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Missy
The Basics

Willy Loman is an aging salesman who is starting to lose his grip on reality. Through the course of the play, we watch his sad collapse while his family desperately attempts to rally around him.

My Thoughts

I’m beginning to think I have a thing for books that exemplify the death of the American Dream and the victims left in its wake. While Willy Loman isn’t quite as sympathetic as someone like Jay Gatsby, you will pity him, maybe even against your will. Because there is a sad reality her...more
Vanessa
2.5 stars.

I can't help but wonder if my enjoyment of Death of a Salesman was diminished ever so slightly by the other Arthur Miller play I read earlier this week, All My Sons. For the record, Death of a Salesman is one of the first plays by Miller I had ever heard of, as it is one of his most famous pieces of theatre, so it must be well-known for something... but I don't know. Something just didn't sit right with me.

I didn't really warm to any of the characters, which is where the red light begi...more
Lavinia
I wonder whether it's fair or not to enjoy other people's family dramas, but I really did enjoy this one. :confused: Or rather I should put it like this: (20th century) American family dramas are the best. They have like the weirdest, most complicated lives and the family members are not afraid to confront each other. And Willy Loman, (Miller plays a bit with his name: Low-man) is the total opposite of the classical hero, ending his American Dream in a total failure, due to his misunderstanding...more
Brian
The success of Miller’s tragedy, in part, is a combination of dramatic irony portrayed by Willy’s monologues. Protagonist Willy Lowman spends his life pursuing the American dream as a salesman. The reader gets a view of Willy’s past and present life through his thoughts. Miller reveals Willy’s past through monologues and also by theatricalizing his thoughts and past life. At times it’s confusing since the play constantly moves between present and past. The reader or viewer must pay attention to...more
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Arthur Asher Miller was an American playwright and essayist. He was a prominent figure in American literature and cinema for over 61 years, writing a wide variety of plays, including celebrated plays such as The Crucible, A View from the Bridge, All My Sons, and Death of a Salesman, which are still studied and performed worldwide. Miller was often in the public eye, most famously for refusing to g...more
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The Crucible All My Sons A View from the Bridge After the Fall Focus

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“Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be … when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am.” 122 likes
“The jungle is dark but full of diamonds, Willy.” 84 likes
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