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Even if you turned off the 'auto review', the monitor should come on when you hit the photo preview button. You can find out whether the monitor is broken if you hit the menu key - no image on the monitor, then it is burned out.
Are you sure you did not change anything in the monitor settings?
Press the menu button, then got the wrench symbol in that part of the menu choose monitor settings and then press ok,
See what mode you are in and cycle through the possibilities. Don't stop where it says monitor off, but in one of the other settings.
Does the menu show when you press the MENU button? Can you see your pictures when you press the Playback button (right-pointing triangle)? If so, then there's nothing to fix. The D40 works as SLRs have worked for half a century. There's a viewfinder which allows you to frame and compose your picture. The LCD monitor is for menus, camera settings, and picture review. LiveView, which allows you to use the monitor for shooting, is a recent development, which Nikon introduced into their cameras with the D3 and D300, both introduced years after the D40.
This is completely normal. The monitor is used for setting menu items, displaying shooting info, and reviewing images. Like SLR have functioned for over fifty years, you take pictures by composing and framing through the viewfinder. Only the most recent dSLRs have the Live View capability which allows you to use the monitor like a point&shoot camera.
If ECONOMY is set to off in that case monitor (LCD) would be brightest, it should not be dark, it would be at lowest if you set it to LEVEL2. Monitor sub-menu in the setup menu gives you option to increase or decrease brightness of the monitor (LCD).
Press MENU and select the pencil icon to get to the Custom Settings Menu. First select the "Detailed" mode under Menu > Setup (wrench) Menu > CSM menu, otherwise you'll only to get the first few items! [R] Menu Reset: This returns everything below to factory default.
I suspect that you're looking for a "live view", like in the point & shoot cameras. Most DSLRs (like the Nikon D50) don't have live view. In other words, in order to see the picture you must take it first.