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English-Drama - Assignment Example

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Anyone growing up in America, and many who only dream of growing up there, seems to have an idea of a promised ‘American Dream’ that floats in virtual space just waiting for them to pick it. A great deal of energy and attention is given to the concept of the American Dream,…
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Download file to see previous pages... erican Dream does have some common elements such as a house, leisure time and the natural result of average effort, yet each individual must realize that their idea of home and their concept of leisure might be vastly different from another person’s. Unless you know what the dream means to you, it remains impossible to attain, but many people fail to provide themselves with that clear sense of definition. In his play, Death of a Salesman, playwright Arthur Miller presents the story of Willy Loman and his last ditch efforts to achieve the American Dream he envisions for himself and his family. This paper argues that Miller’s play illustrates the problem of fuzzy definition, discovers the actual elusiveness of the American Dream and that the play itself argues for an adjustment of our concepts of this term in favor of something more personal.
Throughout Miller’s play, Willy Loman continues to compare himself to a vague notion he has of the American Dream. The idea of the house being an integral part of the Dream is brought in almost immediately as Willy observes to his wife “Work a lifetime to pay off a house. You finally own it, and there’s nobody to live in it” (4). This statement reveals the emptiness Willy has found in the accomplishment of providing his family with a home of their own as his sons prepare to leave again. As Linda tries to soothe him, he reminds her “some people accomplish something” (4). By making this statement, he is indicating that simply owning a home and raising a family isn’t enough to give him the sense of satisfaction he’d thought he’d have at this point in his life. Willy’s ideas are shown to be flawed as he talks with his boys in several memory scenes. In these scenes, he is seen to be attempting to inflate his own importance and the prestige of his job: “they know me boys, they know me up and down New England. The finest people. And when I bring you fellas up, there’ll be open sesame for all of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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