Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers
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2 Themes and Points of Interest
3 Film and Television Versions
The play centers on Willy Loman, an aging salesman who is beginning to lose his grip on reality. Willy, who has always placed high value on being well-liked, dreamed of dying the "death of a salesman" - living a life of luxury and closing deals with contractors on the phone. Instead, all of Willy's aspirations seem to have failed: he is fired from his job, none of his old friends remember him, his son Biff has not become the man he hoped he would be, and he is forced to rely on loans from his former rival. His other son, Happy, pretends to be successfully climbing the corporate ladder but is actually lying to his father about the full measure of his success. In contrast, Charlie, Willy's rival (who he used to criticize for not being well-liked), is a successful businessman and his son, Bernard (whom Willy derided as a child for the same reason), is a brilliant lawyer. Meanwhile, Willy is haunted by memories of his brother, Ben, who at an early age left for Alaska and became rich. Pursued by his dreams of success and the reality of failure, at the end of the play, Willy commits suicide.
Themes and Points of Interest
Film and Television Versions
Death of a Salesman was written by Arthur Miller in 1949. It was greeted with enthusiastic reviews, received a Pulitzer Prize, and turned Miller into a national sensation as a playwright.