Professor of English, Boston College
Death of a Salesman is often framed as (in Arthur Miller’s words) a “tragedy of the common man,” but genre is not necessarily the most compelling entry point for today’s students. While it is true that the play charts one man’s journey to self-destruction, Salesman is first and foremost a family drama. The Loman family’s fall is less the result of Willy’s tragic flaw than the postwar American family’s investment in ideals that threaten to destroy it from the inside, especially conventional attitudes toward masculinity, gender roles, work, and sexuality. To help account for the play’s enduring power nearly seventy years after its premiere, this webinar will explore how Miller’s Loman family comes to stand for an entire postwar ideology.
A collaboration with