Death of a Salesman Play By Arthur Miller (PDF-Summary-Review-Online Reading-Download)


Death of a Salesman is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. The play opened on Broadway in February 1949, with 742 performances. It is a two-act tragedy set in 1940s New York City told through a montage of memories, dreams, and storylines of the protagonist Willy Loman, a traveling salesman who is disappointed in his life and seems to be falling for senility. The play contains a variety of themes, such as the American dream, the anatomy of truth, and betrayal. Explore the protagonist's psychological chaos and the impact of capitalist society on his life. It won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Prize for Best Play. Some critics consider it one of the best works of the 20th century.

Since its premiere, the play has been revived on Broadway four times, winning three Tony Awards for Best Renaissance. It has been adapted into a screen ten times, including a 1951 version of an adaptation by screenwriter Stanley Roberts, starring Fredric March.

Book Details

Originally published: February 10, 1949
Setting: Late 1940s; Willy Loman's house; New York City and Barnaby River; Boston
Genre: Tragedy
Subject: The waning days of a failing salesman


Willy Loman returns home exhausted after a business trip he canceled. Worried about Willy's mood and a recent car accident, his wife Linda suggests that she ask his boss Howard Wagner to let her work in his hometown so she doesn't have to travel. Willy complains to Linda that his son, Biff, has yet to do something with his life. Despite Biff's potential as a soccer star in high school, he failed in math and thus was unable to get into college.

Biff and his younger brother Happy, who is temporarily staying with Willy and Linda after Biff's unexpected return from the West, reminisce about their childhood together. They speak of the mental degeneration of his father, which they have witnessed in the form of his constant indecision and daydreaming about the boys' high school years. Finally, Willy walks in, angry that the two boys have never gotten anywhere. In an effort to appease his father, Biff and Happy tell him that Biff plans to make a business proposal the next day.

The next day, Willy goes to ask Howard for a job in town while Biff goes to make a business proposal, but they both fail; Willy gets angry and ends up getting fired when Howard tells him that he needs a break and can no longer represent the company, while Biff waits hours to see a former employer who doesn't remember him and rejects him. Biff impulsively steals a fountain pen. Willy then goes to his neighbor Charley's office, where he meets Charley's son Bernard, now a successful lawyer. Bernard tells him that Biff originally wanted to go to summer school to make up for failing math, but something happened in Boston when Biff went to visit his father that made him change his mind. Charley gives the now unemployed Willy money to pay his life insurance premium, and Willy surprises Charley by commenting that ultimately a man "is worth more dead than alive."

Happy, Biff, and Willy meet for dinner at a restaurant, but Willy refuses to hear the bad news from Biff. Happy tries to get Biff to lie to his father. Biff tries to tell him what happened while Willy gets angry and slides into a flashback of what happened in Boston the day Biff came to see him: Willy had been in Boston for work, and Biff went to visit him to ask Willy to convince his teacher. to curve Biff's failing grade in math. Willy was in the middle of an affair with a receptionist when Biff unexpectedly came to the hotel room and saw the woman, who was half-dressed. Biff didn't accept his father's cover-up story and angrily dismissed him as a liar and fake before storming out in a rage. From that moment on, Biff's views on his father changed and left him adrift.

Biff leaves the restaurant frustrated, followed by Happy and two girls Happy picked up, leaving behind a confused and upset Willy. When they later return home, Linda angrily confronts them for abandoning her father while Willy remains outside, talking to himself. Biff tries to reconcile with Willy, but the argument quickly turns into another argument. Biff clearly conveys to his father that he is not destined for anything great, insisting that they are both simply ordinary men destined to lead ordinary lives. The argument reaches an apparent climax when Biff hugs Willy and begins to cry as he tries to get Willy to put aside unrealistic expectations of him. Instead of listening to what Biff is actually saying, Willy seems to believe that his son has forgiven him and will follow in his footsteps, and after Linda climbs into bed, he falls into a hallucination for the last time, thinking that he is talking to his deceased. brother ben. In Willy's mind, Ben approves of Willy's plan to kill himself in order to give Biff his insurance policy money. Willy leaves the house, and Biff and Linda scream in despair as the sound of Willy's car turns on and fades away.

The final scene takes place at Willy's funeral, attended by only his family, Charley, and Bernard. Ambiguities of mixed and unaddressed emotions persist, particularly about whether Willy's choices or circumstances were outdated. At the funeral, Biff maintains his belief that he doesn't want to become a businessman like his father. Happy, on the other hand, choose to follow in her father's footsteps, while Linda regrets her husband's decision just before their final house payment.


Since it was first performed in 1949, Death of a Salesman has been recognized as a landmark of American theater. In the person of Willy Loman, the aging, unsuccessful salesman who makes his living off a smile and a shoeshine, Arthur Miller redefined the tragic hero as a man whose dreams are both unbearably vast and dangerously insubstantial. He has given us a figure whose name has become a symbol of a kind of majestic grandeur, and a play that compresses epic extremes of humor and anguish, promise and loss, within the four walls of an American living room.

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 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.

Free Download Death of a Salesman PDF


Death of a Salesman Online Reading