74 pages 2 hours read

Arthur Miller

Death of a Salesman

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1949

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Death of a Salesman

  • Genre: Drama; realistic
  • Originally Published: 1949
  • Reading Level/Interest: Grades 9-12; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 2 acts (26 scenes) plus Requiem; approx. 139 pages; approx. 2 hours, 16 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: In a story that serves as a heart-wrenching critique of the American Dream, Willy Loman, a traveling salesman in his sixties, confronts losing his job after giving the best years of his life to the company. He relives memories from his past, including missed opportunities and moments of optimism about his sons’ lives that did not pan out.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Suicide; extramarital affair; mental illness

Arthur Miller, Author

  • Bio: 1915-2005; born in Harlem, New York; earned his BA at the University of Michigan, where he completed his first play, No Villain; returned to the East to pursue career as playwright; refused to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee and wrote The Crucible as a critique of it; was married to actress Marilyn Monroe for five years and wrote The Misfits for her; published his autobiography, Timebends, in 1987; his plays continue to be frequently staged and adapted around the world
  • Other Works: All My Sons (1947); The Crucible (1953); A View from the Bridge (1955); The Misfits (screenplay; 1961); After the Fall (1964); The Price (1968); Broken Glass (1994)
  • Awards: Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1949, for Death of a Salesman); Tony Award for Best Play (1949, for Death of a Salesman)