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Introduction & Overview of Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

This Study Guide consists of approximately 65 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Death of a Salesman.
This section contains 232 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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Death of a Salesman Summary & Study Guide Description

Death of a Salesman Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading and a Free Quiz on Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.

Introduction

Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is considered by many to be both the playwright's masterpiece and a cornerstone of contemporary American drama. Subtitled Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and a Requiem, the play was first produced in 1949 and struck an immediate, emotional chord with audiences. The work garnered numerous honors and awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award and enjoyed a lengthy run (742 performances) on Broadway. In the decades following its premiere, Death of Salesman has become one of the most performed and adapted plays in American theatrical history. Much of this success is attributed to Miller's facility in portraying the universal hopes and fears of middle-class America. Through his main character, Willy Loman, Miller examines the myth of the American Dream and the shallow promise of happiness through material wealth. He uses Willy as an example of how undivided faith in such a dream can often yield tragic results, especially when it goes largely unfulfilled. Audiences have continued to respond to this theme because, in some incarnation, the American Dream has persisted; a viewer can watch Death of a Salesman and relate Willy's situation to their own compromised ideals and missed opportunities. More than a cautionary tale, however, Miller's work is also revered for its bold realism and riveting theatricality, a play that deals in weighty emotional issues without descending to melodrama.

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This section contains 232 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Death of a Salesman Study Guide
Copyrights
Death of a Salesman from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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