2.5 disco balls
First published: February 10, 1949 by Viking Press
Category: Classics, Play, Theatre
Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1949), New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play (1949)
Death of a Salesman was Book 5 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list; I can say I’ve done my homework but that’s about all. Reading it certainly felt like homework.
It was not enjoyable and I was often frustrated. One: the format. Its a play and setting the scene often confused me. It would flip flop between past and present without a prompt, as if I was supposed to know what was going on without pausing and rereading the lines over again. Second: Willy was annoying, Biff was annoying, Hap was annoying, Linda was annoying. Everyone was annoying.
It is a very quick read and only took a few hours. I felt accomplished checking off another book from my reading list (at least it gave me that). Not sure why it was required reading in school. I guess to spark discussion on the American Dream and such, and I get that but the adult me just felt like they whined too much. The dialogue also went off on too many tangents: no one listened to each other, they just liked to hear themselves talk. And, I didn’t like to listen to them either.
They adapted the play into a movie with Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich in 1985. If I’d had known I would have watched it in high school and not been the least bit sorry about skipping my homework this time around. (Don’t tell my teacher!)
What I imagine Marilyn telling Arthur:
It’s okay, Arthur. You can’t win them all.
His response: Do you have a Pulitzer, Nikki?
Any who – Have you read this one? Seen the play? Seen the movie? Tell me your thoughts!
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