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Death of a Salesman | Study Guide

Arthur Miller

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Death of a Salesman | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

death-of-a-salesman-arthur-millerLinda Loman, Act 1 ttention, attention must finallybe paid to such a person.Death of a Salesmanby the NumbersRank in 2013Denver Post survey of theater professionals for most important American play1Broadway performances of Death of a Salesman in its initial run in 1949–50742Year filmadaptation directed by László Benedekwas released1951Copies of Death ofa Salesman sold bythe play's 50th anniversary in 1999~11mMain CharactersAmerican DreamBetrayalSelf-DeceptionWilly LomanDisillusioned traveling salesman Biff LomanSon who has dashed his fathers dreamsLinda LomanWilly's docile, loving wifeCharleyNeighbor from whomWilly borrows moneyUncle BenWillys rich, deceased older brotherHappy LomanBiff's overlooked, restless younger brotherThemesThe American DreamWilly has built his life on the premise that with hard work, charisma, and some good luck, he can achieve success—but his dream unravels.The Anatomy of TruthWilly's lack of honesty is fueled by his need to manipulate the truth tohis own advantage.BetrayalJust as Willy's father abandoned him, Willy betrays his own family in various forms: absence, an affair, and his final, self-deluded sacrifice.ARTHUR MILLER1915–2005AuthorOne of America's foremost playwrights, Miller was born into a wealthy family that lost everything in the economic crash of 1929. First staged on Broadway in 1949, Death of a Salesman was an instant success, winning the Pulitzer Prize forDrama and the Tony forBest Play.Distant LandsSeeds StockingsThe stockings Willy gives to his lover symbolize his betrayal of his family.While New York symbolizes confinement and death, faraway places represent freedom.Willy's vegetable seeds symbolize his desire to leave his sons a legacythe skills for success.Willy Loman, a traveling salesman, has lost his hold on the American Dream: "Never leave a job till you're finished—remember that," he tells his son. Yet now he is confusing past and present, wishing he'd made different choices, unable to travel any road—fighting the realization that illusions and dreams are not the same.Sufferingthe AmericanDreamSYMBOLSArthur Miller1949EnglishPlayAuthorYear PublishedOriginal LanguageDeath of aSalesmanDrama

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