Non-Fiction Books:

Understanding Death of a Salesman

A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents

Customer rating

Click to share your rating 0 ratings (0.0/5.0 average) Thanks for your vote!

Share this product

Understanding Death of a Salesman by Brenda Murphy
Save $33.00
$117.99 was $150.99
or 4 payments of $29.50 with Learn more
In stock with supplier

The item is brand new and in-stock in with one of our preferred suppliers. The item will ship from the Mighty Ape warehouse within the timeframe shown below.

Usually ships within 2-3 weeks


Delivering to:

Estimated arrival:

  • Around 28 Jan to 1 Feb using Express Delivery
    Mighty Ape can deliver this product within 1-2 business days (usually overnight) to urban centres across Australia, and some remote areas. Learn more
    Unlikely to arrive before Christmas
  • Around 29 Jan to 5 Feb using standard courier delivery
    Unlikely to arrive before Christmas


This collection of social, cultural and historical documents and popular materials, with linking explanations and commentary, should help the reader to study the play "Death of a Salesman" in the context of its time and cultural background. The collected materials are designed to work with the play to highlight inherent conflicts within American society which lie at the heart of "Death of a Salesman", and to explore how the play affects and is affected by social mores and beliefs. Salesmanship and the changing face of business, along with perceptions of sports, gender and families, are explored through selections drawn from a rich variety of sources that help provide forceful evidence of the play's influence. Documents include essays, articles and fiction, which have created or explored the social expectations of a typical American family in the late 1940s; unusual selections such as a self-analysis chart, an obituary and a diary, which help to trace the history of salesmanship form the 19th century to the present day; and advertisements, song lyrics, speeches, how-to books and other readings that promote an interdisciplinary study of the play. More than 70 short primary documents illustrate the cultural, social and historical milieu of the time in which the play takes place. Topics explored under "Cultural Myths and Values" include the Protestant work ethic versus myths of success, the myth of the golden West versus urban myth, and the culture of youth versus the culture of age. A chapter on economic forces provides materials on business versus morality, humanity versus technology, the haves and the have-nots, American business culture, the Depression and how to be an effective salesman. A chapter on family and gender expectations includes documents on the roles of fathers and mothers, providers versus cowboys or playboys, and homemakers versus call girls. A chapter on sports and leisure features documents on amateur football and sports and American values. A final chapter examines the impact of "Death of a Salesman" on American culture. Each chapter is followed by study questions, topics for writing and discussion, and a list of suggested reading.

Author Biography

BRENDA MURPHY has taught at Brown University, St. Lawrence University, and the University of Connecticut, where she is currently Professor of English. She is the author of Miller: Death of a Salesman (1995), as well as a number of articles on Arthur Miller. She is also author of Tennessee Williams and Elia Kazan: A Collaboration in the Theatre (1992), A Realist in the American Theatre: Selected Drama Criticism of William Dean Howells (1992), American Realism and American Drama, 1880-1940 (1987), the Cambridge Companion to American Women Playwrights (forthcoming), and Congressional Theatre: Dramatizing McCarthyism on Stage, Film, and Television (forthcoming). SUSAN C. W. ABBOTSON has taught English for fourteen years, first at the high school level, and more recently at the Rhode Island University. A recent Ph.D., she wrote her dissertation on Arthur Miller and August Wilson. She is also author of the drama section for Resources for Teaching: Literature and Its Writers (1997), The Student Companion to Arthur Miller (forthcoming), and a number of entries for the forthcoming Cambridge Guide for Children's Books.
Release date Australia
February 28th, 1999
Country of Publication
United States
Greenwood Press
Product ID

Customer reviews

Nobody has reviewed this product yet. You could be the first!

Write a Review

Marketplace listings

There are no Marketplace listings available for this product currently.
Already own it? Create a free listing and pay just 9% commission when it sells!

Sell Yours Here

Help & options

  • If you think we've made a mistake or omitted details, please send us your feedback. Send Feedback
  • If you have a question or problem with this product, visit our Help section. Get Help
  • Seen a lower price for this product elsewhere? We'll do our best to beat it. Request a better price
Filed under...