2016 Reading List #8: Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller

So this was my fourth time through Death of a Salesman, but that by no means signifies that it packs any less of an emotional punch. Death of a Salesman is known as the great American tragedy for a reason, and that is the terrible beauty of this story.

I’m assuming it’s not an unfamiliar story to most readers, but here’s the gist: Willy Loman is a 60-year-old salesman who’s past his prime and out of touch with reality. His elder son, Biff, has come home to stay with mother Linda and younger brother Happy. The conflict between Willy and Biff is primarily what drives the play’s action, as well as the characters’ hopes that someone in this family will get a better job to keep them all afloat financially.

Willy thinks one must only be well-liked to be successful, which is essentially his biggest mistake; because of his belief that he and his sons–particularly Biff–are well-liked leaves him unable to recognize the reality around him.

Death of a Salesman tells an incredibly pitiful story that’s nearly impossible not to relate to. It’s a heartbreaker and one you’ll be thinking of long after turning the final page.

Now I’m going to take a break from Mr. Miller and turn to another novel that will help me cross another goal off this year’s reading list: Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.


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