Death Of A Salesman: Revised Edition by Arthur MillerDeath Of A Salesman: Revised Edition by Arthur Miller

Death Of A Salesman: Revised Edition

byArthur MillerEditorGerald Weales

Paperback | January 1, 1996

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The Pulitzer Prize-winning tragedy of a salesman’s deferred American dream, presented here with enlightening commentary and criticism

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.

Since it was first performed in 1949, Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about the tragic shortcomings of an American dreamer has been recognized as a milestone of the theater. This Viking Critical Library edition of Death of a Salesman contains the complete text of the play, typescript facsimiles, and extensive critical and contextual material including:
  • Conflicting reviews about its opening night by Robert Garland, Harold Clurman, Eleanor Clark, and others
  • Five articles by Miller on his play, including "Tragedy and the Common Man" and his "Introduction to Collected Plays"
  • Critical essays by John Gassner, Ivor Brown, Joseph A. Hynes, and others
  • General essays on Miller by William Weigand, Allan Seager, and others
  • Analogous works by Eudora Welty, Walter D. Moody, Tennessee Williams, and Irwin Shaw
  • The stage designer's account, presented in selections from Designing for the Theatre by Jo Mielziner
  • An in-depth introduction by the editor, a chronology, a list of topics for discussion and papers, and a bibliography 
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 Oth...
Title:Death Of A Salesman: Revised EditionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 7.8 × 5.1 × 0.8 inPublished:January 1, 1996Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140247734

ISBN - 13:9780140247732

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Play I liked the writing, and it was easy to follow. Good play but I wasn't captivated by the play. I didn't connect with any of the characters. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-08-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from One of the best plays of all time! One of my favourites! Miller is a phenomenal writer.
Date published: 2018-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read Had to read this book for school and was pleasantly surprised at the intricacy of the play. An overall great read that explores a wide variety of themes.
Date published: 2018-06-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lovely Read! I had mixed expectations for Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman solely because I did not want another Great Gatsby redo or copycat. I had previously heard that the American Dream is a major theme featured in this play, and I was quite skeptical of it as the message usually tends to be the same in these kinds of story: money isn't everything. DON'T LET YOUR EXPECTATIONS CHANGE YOUR EXCITEMENT FOR THIS PLAY: this was a fantastic play that was so impressive and easy to analyze. In fact, Miller's writing made analyzing fun for me. I'm usually not the type of person who's interested in seeing beyond the lines and trying to distinguish the author's purpose for writing a certain piece of literature. However, in Death of a Salesman, it was impossible to not search for some extra meaning. To quickly summarize the story, this basically focuses on the Loman family, specifically on Willy Loman and his struggles of living in a world which highlights the importance of gaining some kind of American Dream. Willy is a travelling salesman who travels around New England and the New York City area. The point of attack of this play allows audiences to enter the point of time in Willy's life where he is realizing that he has a greater potential and deserves a better job, and life. However, Willy establishes a facade towards his family, causing them to believe that Willy is more "well-liked" and successful than he seems. This disturbs the relationship amongst Willy and his eldest son, Biff, who views Willy as a role model. I enjoyed reading every single page of this play. In fact, I would be totally interested in seeing this being performed live. I love the realistic aspect of the play, as it surely addresses the lives of many Americans to this very day. The tensions in the relationships of the characters were interesting to examine, and made me become more interested in the 20s era of the twentieth century. As for any flaws in the story, if I were to give this play a five star rating, it needed an extra dash of something. Some kind of entertainment or plot twist or suspense, as, evidently, the fate of Willy Loman is already spoiled to us readers from the title. Whoa, how surprising it is that Willy's story will end in tragedy and he will die. This cannot even be identified as a spoiler. It's just common sense. The ending is where I can say that the book lost its entertainment aspect and caused readers to look in between the lines of the play. I do not know if that is my favourite approach to reading a story, that's for sure. Death of a Salesman is some excellent, classic literature that should be continued to be read in classrooms all over the world. I found that it was easy to be entertained whilst reading it, and to analyze it for academic purposes (I had to read this for school, so finding some 'greater' message was beneficial). But even if you're not a student, READ THIS. Pick it up - it is not some kind of play that is difficult to understand (COUGH Shakespeare COUGH)!
Date published: 2018-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent play This classic play is a wonderful critique on the possible failings of capitalist ideals and the American dream. The characters all reel you in and you learn to sympathize with all of them, given all of their flaws and mistakes.
Date published: 2018-03-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An okay play I read this play in my grade twelve english class. I thought the play was okay. It was easy to understand but I didn't really connect with any of the characters.
Date published: 2018-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing! very interesting! This book was amazing!
Date published: 2018-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent One of my favourite plays, and I love this cover.
Date published: 2017-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! This is one of my favourite plays of all time! It is thought-provoking and a commentary and criticism of the concept of the American dream. I highly recommend it!
Date published: 2017-09-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking.. I read this for english class and at first, it is kind of confusing. But later you feel heartbroken once you read more and realize Willy's obvious flaw.
Date published: 2017-08-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thought-provoking characters and theme The characters are complex and relatable, and the theme is universal and timeless. We're often told that "hard work" and persistence is the key to achieving your goals, but the perpetual struggle of Willy Loman takes an interesting, thought-provoking take on it. I read this for my high school class, but I like the play on a personal level. However, I kind of wish the book explored the topic of happiness a little more.
Date published: 2017-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it in high school and love it now Great classic! Not sure if in highschool everyone understands this book however a great read about the struggle to obtain the American Dream. Manu hidden meanings and symbols in this story that will make one rethink a lot of things and what is truly important in life. Often one needs to release this and everyone you learn something new about the stories and the characters and yourself!!
Date published: 2017-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I only wished it was longer and more detailed!
Date published: 2017-03-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Though forced to read it in English class it was a very good book Interesting slice of life story of Willy Lohman a salesman who has a difficult life. Tells the travailas of his family well. If your looking for a good work of literature this is it. Recommended
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok didn't mind it but was not my favourite
Date published: 2017-01-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from School read I read this in school and found it really weird... but good
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking but magnificent I read this book for an English class, and what at first seemed like a bore, this book en-captured me like none other. The tragic story behind Willy Loman and his great downfall, his all American family and his American Dream ideals. Everything about this book is heartbreaking, from the plot to its characters to its message, but don't let the 'simple' plot fool you. Filled with symbols and themes there's a reason this story is a great classic. Read and re-read, and think about the plot. There's a reason authors write these kind of stories! You will find the inner Willy and inner Biff and perhaps even inner Linda and Happy inside you. Tragically truthful, this book made me rethink many things.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Death Of A Salesman and Me For a long long time I had a shortlist of books my eyes have always wanted to devour. And towards the top of that list was Death of a Salesman. The play by Arthur Miller premiered in 1949 and became an immediate sensation, winning a Pulitzer and a Tony. It has been revived multiple times all over, adapted into movies, and staged as live television. Quite often done by big name stars of great caliber. Critics have hailed it as a masterpiece and a play that transformed theatre. With this really impressive resume behind Death of a Salesman, my want to finally read this classic became a goal this 2015. And the result for me was a large meh. Unfortunately. Death of a Salesman tells the tale of one Willy Loman. He is an older man, beaten down by life and hating it all. His wife is devoted but his two grown sons are going nowhere very quickly and back to living at home. Even the slight saving grace of having the mortgage almost paid off barely quells Willy. The man hates his long time sales job and how things have not been going well for awhile now. He continuously hallucinates, much to his family’s dismay, of the greater time when the boys were younger and everything felt perfect. Willy keeps wondering when it all went wrong, why others are more successful, and how to fix, to his mind, his ungrateful kids. Make them launch into the world and do things Papa can be proud of. But of course things just keep going wrong. And wrong some more. So with a spoiler for 1949, yes Willy Loman does die in the end. I had many problems with Death of a Salesman that made it difficult for me to even finish. The almost unrelenting despair of what seems like every main character having just a terrible terrible life weighs down the story and makes you wonder why nothing goes right for any member of the Loman clan at all. I know drama requires conflict and pain not sunshine and rainbows, but Miller just makes dire his only colour. Even the shocking revelation at the end just adds to the pain, but hardly explains one characters actions. Nor was the reveal that surprising either. My other issue with this play is the flashback/hallucinations that Willy gleefully enters into. On stage I am sure they are almost always masterfully performed and flow wonderfully to make the dramatic points, but in reading it mostly becomes a bit of narrative mush. Those scenes were tiresome to read and I very quickly got the point. Willy really wants to turn back the clock because everything sucks. My sense of history knows that at the time Death of a Salesman was very shocking and groundbreaking on multiple levels, mostly I believe because of the depressing everyman hopelessness it starkly portrayed. That aspect is appreciated by me, and if did smash barriers, than I applaud it. Noble accomplishments aside, for me Death of a Salesman, one of my long awaited reads, just trudged along to a whatever ending.
Date published: 2015-11-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Chasing the American Dream I read this for my English summer school class and I really enjoyed the play! The time period that the book takes place in is around the late 1940s/ early 1950s and focuses on Willy Loman, a traveling salesman who is now in his sixties in a career that is going nowhere. All his life, he has believed in the American Dream and that one day he could succeed in achieving it, but he refuses to believe that it's just not going to happen. He still believes he can be successful even though he has a dysfunctional family he can barely provide for and is forced to borrow money from his only friend. His outlook on life and in business is that people become successful by being well-liked (appearances) and that no one cared if you were smart or skilled. It's a lesson that he instilled in his children and now they're all paying the price by leading unfilled lives. In particular, Willy can't understand why his favoured son Biff isn't successful in life as he thought his son would achieve greatness. The play redefines the definition of the tragic hero as the play switches from the present to the past, where Willy tries to find where it all went wrong.
Date published: 2009-07-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A tragedy of a low man Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller was written in 1949 and changed what tragedy meant. Instead of the usual fall of a man in a high position, it was about Willy Loman, a small man. The play is centered on conversation that is mostly dull. The most interesting part of it is seeing the wrong beliefs of Willy that he instils in his two boys, Biff and Happy, which greatly affect their lives in the future. Willy's interpretation of manliness and the American Dream are also the features that make this play great. Willy Loman, 60, has been working as a salesman for many years. The company that he has been working for has taken him off a salary and placed him on commission. He hasn’t been able to sell anything and is resorting to borrowing money from his only friend. His two children, Biff and Happy, are unable to help Willy pay for his mortgage and expenses. Willy feels that it his duty to provide for his family, and being unable to do so lowers his manliness. What has happened to Biff and Happy that has made them as they are as adults? How will Willy, who is seeing hallucinations, react to his loss of manliness? How did growing up without a father or brother affect Willy? What are Willy’s motives for what he does? Does Willy’s belief in success as a result of being well-liked work? What dreams do the two brothers choose to follow in the end? What does ‘free’ mean in the ending? 3/5
Date published: 2009-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great American Tragedy This play revolves around the lives of Willy Loman, who is an aging salesman, his wife Linda, and his two sons, Biff & Happy. Arthur Miller's story grips the reader and puts forth many ideas about modern society's moral decline. It is an interesting read, and is still today's Great American Tragedy.
Date published: 2001-01-19

From Our Editors

The tragedy of a typical American--a salesman who at the age of sixty-three is faced with what he cannot face; defeat and disillusionment.

Editorial Reviews

"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