5 min read ⌚
This 1949 play is really a life-altering one.
It gives an unbiased view of how ambition can sometimes become your biggest enemy.
We put the story in a nutshell so that anyone can extract the key takeaways from it.
Who Should Read “Death of a Salesman”? And Why?
Death of a Salesman illustrates an unorthodox way of life, which not everyone is prepared to follow.
In order to engage in such journey, one must be willing to put many things aside.
We believe that this play is suitable for all people, especially younger adults who have just finished their education.
Think twice before you make a move and take into account all options.
Arthur Miller Biography
Arthur Miller was a well-known and renowned playwright, essayist, and figure of the 20th century.
We outline some of his most outstanding works: All My Sons, The Crucible and A View from the Bridge.
He passed away on February 10th, 2005.
The first scene revolves around Willy Loman. A person who is entering his home after a cancellation of a business meeting earlier that day.
All these events add to Willy’s worsen health situation, and his wife Linda is really frightened about it.
She thinks that it is an excellent idea for Willy to stay here and slow the traveling pace down a little bit.
In other words, she has in mind to ask Howard Wagner – her husband’s boss, to grant them a small favor by letting Willy operate in his hometown.
The next dialogue between the character unfolds when Willy mentions his son Biff and talks to Linda that there’s a long road ahead of him if he wants to be successful.
Nevertheless, Biff’s low grades in math hamper his chances for enlisting in any college.
Even though he shows great talent as an athlete, he still needs to work on other areas if he wishes to succeed.
Harold Loman, Biff’s younger brother also joins the proceedings, reminiscing about their childhood and bringing back old memories.
Both sons speak about their father’s health issues, and lack of determination to get things done.
They also mention the daily pressure they receive from Willy regarding the education. In the heat of the moment, Willy enters the room and overhears what they’ve been talking about. He gets angry because none of his boys have climbed the ladder of mediocrity.
To calm him down, they make a promise that from tomorrow all will be different. Biff and Happy will eventually start a business career, and all will be settled.
The next day, Willy decides to go along with his wife’s advice and asks Howard to give him a job in the town so that he’ll no longer be on the move all the time.
In the meantime, Biff launches a new campaign, but they both come home empty-handed.
Willy ultimately ends up fired, because his boss tells him that he is no longer capable of being a representative of the company and Biff’s proposal is dismissed in a flash.
It’s sad that both father and son experience the same twist of fate on the same day.
Biff reacts furiously and steals a pen, and Willy runs off to his to his neighbor’s house trying to find out what’s going on.
On the way there, he encounters Bernard (a lawyer), who mentions that Biff really wanted to do well in summer school but backed down after visiting Boston.
Charley, Bernard’s father, and Willy’s neighbor decides to aid his friend Willy in times of crisis due to the unfortunate turn of events that recently struck him.
Charley agrees to pays off the life-insurance, while Willy states that in this life a man worth more dead than alive.
Harold, Biff, and Willy are now in a restaurant, but Willy is not prepared to hear another bad news.
Eventually, Happy Loman persuades his brother that Willy doesn’t have to know all the details about their failed endeavor.
However, Biff goes step by step, trying to unveil all the reasons for his unsuccessful adventure.
His father suddenly recalls what happened when Biff came to see him in Boston. When Biff arrived there, he caught his father with a receptionist and reacted fiercely.
It was that moment that can be labeled as the turning point in Biff’s life. From that day, Biff’s ambitions lowered, and his life changed in a flash.
Biff leaves the restaurant in anger and decides to try his luck elsewhere, probably with Happy and the two girls they met earlier.
Willy remains in the restaurant with a troubled mind and broken heart. Linda doesn’t endorse their behavior and tries to balance the scale.
Although Biff attempts to bury the hatchet with his father, out of nowhere a new debate breaks in and the situation escalates.
Biff says that he and Happy are just ordinary people, wanting and pursuing the everyday life, something that Willy cannot grasp.
Willy has a hard time letting go his ultra-ambitious ideas and unrealistic goals.
In truth, Willy is not too concentrated on Biff’s confession and even take it as a sign that his son is ready to follow in his footsteps and do something extraordinary in life.
Afterward, Willy hallucinates about his dead brother Ben and slips into a flashback. He ponders how would his death be profitable to his family, especially to Biff. They would get the policy money and start over.
Willy enters his car and a few moments later crashes, leaving Linda and Biff in despair.
Death of a Salesman Epilogue
The final scene of this play tells the story of Willy’s funeral attended only by his closest family members and Charley and Bernard.
The obscurity remains, and all the emotions are mixed with no real explanation of what contributed to this tragedy.
Despite all the efforts, Biff remains firm in his intentions not to follow in his father’s footsteps. Happy on the other hand decides to try his luck and becomes a businessman.
Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.
“Death of a Salesman PDF Quotes”Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be … when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am. Click To Tweet I realized what a ridiculous lie my whole life has been. Click To Tweet You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away - a man is not a piece of fruit. Click To Tweet Be loving to him. Because he’s only a little boat looking for a harbor. Click To Tweet The only thing you've got in this world is what you can sell. Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
Even in the digital age, we can only endorse Arthur’s message conveyed through this book.
He spares no one and indicates that life is beautiful if you know how to make the most out of it.
Don’t bargain with happiness and indulge in activities that add to your bright future.