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Approaches to Teaching Miller's Death of a Salesman

Editor(s): Matthew C. Roudané

Pages: xii & 178 pp.
Published: 1995
ISBN: 9780873527279 (cloth)
ISBN: 9780873527286 (paperback)

"This new volume in the MLA's useful, meticulously edited series maintains the high quality established by its predecessors. In fact, the 14 essays, by such scholars as Ruby Cohn, Thomas P. Adler, Barbara Lounsberry, James Hurt, and June Schlueter, in some cases exceed the exacting standards already set.... A balanced, lucid, well-written, and imaginatively conceived and executed book."

"If one were to hazard a guess as to what American play is the most studied at the university level," writes Matthew C. Roudané, "it might not be too fanciful to suggest Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman." As this volume attests, not only is the play extensively taught; it also lends itself to a range of instructional approaches.

The book is divided into two parts. Part 1, "Materials," surveys editions, anthologies, and a large selection of published works on Miller. Part 2, "Approaches," comprises fourteen concise, helpful essays by experienced instructors. The approaches described include considering Death of a Salesman as the "quintessential" American play; focusing on the importance of the stage directions and scenery; comparing Willy Loman with salesmen in plays by O'Neill and Mamet; and reading the play from psychoanalytic, poststructuralist, sociological, and feminist perspectives. The extensive works-cited list at the end of the volume includes audiovisual aids.

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