American Dream as Depicted in Death of a Salesman - Term Paper Example

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Arthur Miller's famous tragic play Death of a Salesman is about Willy Loman's quest for the 'American Dream.' This dream, according to Miller, is the dream of prosperity, wealth and triumph. …
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American Dream as Depicted in Death of a Salesman
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Download file to see previous pages The 'American Dream,' in Willy's perspective, is the holding, enjoying and acquiring a flourishing career. Unluckily, for Willy, he delimits and restricts his goals at being a triumph in his career as a salesman. Willy charges the ostentation of the business and corporate world. This may be observed in his opinion about Bernard:
"Bernard can get the best marks in school, understand, but when he gets out in the business world, understand, you're going to be five times ahead of him. That's why I thank Almighty God you're both built like agonizes. Because a man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want".Happy complains, " I mean I can outbox, outrun, and outlift anybody in that store, and I have to take orders from those common, pretty sons-of-bitches till I can't stand it anymore" (Act 1). Happy thinks that just because he is stronger than those who give him orders, he should be the one to give the orders.
His father taught him that that was the way to success, and it is obviously failing for Happy. The same goes for Biff. Just because he has the dashing smile, good looks and people like him - that does not mean that he will be a success in the business world. Hard work, persistence and work ethic are what he is lacking which makes him a failure as well. Willy does not see it that way though. He is seeing both of his sons from 'the clouds.' He is looking down on them like they are the successes that he has made them out to be in his head. This, unfortunately, does not help them in life. The Loman boys are not the only ones Willy's views poisons, but also his wife Linda. The love Linda holds for Willy is persistent. She sees herself as his protector. Linda allows Willy to laps into his illusions so he can have that feeling of contentment. Willy also soon finds out that his life was not the perfect life he has conjured up in his head. Willy realizes that in fact he has lived his life in vain. It is by means of Willy's disappointment as a salesman that his inborn yearning for the outdoors is uncovered. (Bhatia, 46) Towards the climax of the play, Charley mentions, "... He was a happy man with a batch of cement ... so wonderful with his hands ... he had the wrong dreams, all wrong" (Act 2). We can assume that the play emphasizes the path not taken may have been the right one. Willy holds this assumption as the inability to see who and what he is which leads to the tragic ending. To the very end he is a firm believer in the ideology that the attractive and well spoken finish first. This is the very thing that destroys him, because he now finds out, in his own mind, he is not on top. The main reason why Willy Loman's life was always miserable is because Willy Loman accounted the society's expectations and standards of what an American Dream is to them rather then what an American Dream meant to him self. He always thought that he was better then what people thought of him. He put himself down due to his sons' failure to achieve their goals; therefore he thought ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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