Arthur Miller won the Pulitzer Prize
For “Death of a Salesman” *
It shows how success can demonize.
*His name is Willy Loman. Considered a tragic hero by many, Willy is an aging traveling salesman whose American dream, indeed his whole sense of identity, is based on material success. When his sales take a nosedive and he faces inevitable failure and an economic dead end, he suffers a mental breakdown and eventually takes his own life. “Death of a Salesman” was required reading when I was in high school. I recall my junior class attending a live performance at, I believe, the 12th Street Theatre near the Loop. Is it still there? My brother-in-law, Tom Higgins, who had a distinguished stage career in the Chicago area, gave an outstanding performance as Willy. Tom may be remembered by many for his moving role as Grandpa Gus in the “Christmas Schooner” for which he received many plaudits and accolades.
“He’s a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back–that’s an earthquake. And then you get a couple of spots on your hat, and you’re finished.”
Filed under: History by day