full title · Death of a Salesman: Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and a Requiem
author · Arthur Miller
type of work · Play
genre · Tragedy, social commentary, family drama
language · English (with emphasis on middle-class American lingo)
time and place written · Six weeks in 1948, in a shed in Connecticut
date of first publication · 1949
original publisher · The Viking Press
climax · The scene in Frank’s Chop House and Biff’s final confrontation with Willy at home
protagonists · Willy Loman, Biff Loman
antagonists · Biff Loman, Willy Loman, the American Dream
setting (time) · “Today,” that is, the present; either the late 1940s or the time period in which the play is being produced, with “daydreams” into Willy’s past; all of the action takes place during a twenty-four-hour period between Monday night and Tuesday night, except the “Requiem,” which takes place, presumably, a few days after Willy’s funeral
setting (place) · According to the stage directions, “Willy Loman’s house and yard [in Brooklyn] and . . . various places he visits in . . . New York and Boston”
falling action · The “Requiem” section, although the play is not really structured as a classical drama
tense · Present
foreshadowing · Willy’s flute theme foreshadows the revelation of his father’s occupation and abandonment; Willy’s preoccupation with Linda’s stockings foreshadows his affair with The Woman; Willy’s automobile accident before the start of Act I foreshadows his suicide at the end of Act II
tone · The tone of Miller’s stage directions and dialogue ranges from sincere to parodying, but, in general, the treatment is tender, though at times brutally honest, toward Willy’s plight
themes · The American Dream; abandonment; betrayal
motifs · Mythic figures; the American West; Alaska; the African jungle
symbols · Seeds; diamonds; Linda’s and The Woman’s stockings; the rubber hose
I went on here to review for a test, and it was a complete waste of time. The interpretation of the play is no narrow minded my 10 year old brother could have figured it out.
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I saw the play; Sparknotes is an excellent recap of the play.
22 out of 28 people found this helpful
Id be better off just reading the book.
12 out of 45 people found this helpful
Take a Study Break!