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'Death of a Salesman': meant for you?

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(Read caption) Since 1949 Arthur Miller's 'Death of a Salesman' has been serving as a mirror for all of us who believe we still have something to prove at our workplaces.

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“He works for a company thirty-six years this March, opens up unheard-of territories to their trademark, and now in his old age they take his salary away.... For five weeks he’s been on straight commission, like a beginner, an unknown.”

That’s Willy Loman’s wife, Linda, enlightening and admonishing her irresponsible and inconsiderate sons. Their 63-year-old father, who has worked for the same company all those years, is about to be terminated.  One termination leads to another.

Tragically, in addled desperation, Willy Loman drives himself to bequeath a death benefit to his irresolute sons.  Dramatically, with the text of “Death of a Salesman,” Arthur Miller set up what might well be thought of as a literary inter vivos  trust – and a gift in perpetuity – with millions of theater-goers and script-readers as beneficiaries.


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