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Essay about Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

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Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
Many times while reading modern literature you will hear reference to the “American Dream”. What the various authors and or readers must decide is whether or not this is a true goal. There are many arguments that state that the “American Dream” is a figment of imagination. There are others that believe this is an attainable goal.
One of the discussions that is held is what the true definition of the “American Dream” is. There are beliefs that think money and power are the ideal things to strive for. Still others believe that personal success is truly hard to measure and that there is no bench mark. In the play, “Death of a Salesman”, the main character Willy Lohman thinks that success is measured by how many people know you and how well liked you are. This success coupled with all the material possessions he has acquired, makes him feel complete in his quest for the dream.
In the “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller we are given an example of what plagues this country in its so called “quest” for the “American Dream”. This example would not be, wanting to succeed, or


to constantly strive for perfection, but rather the lack of fortitude in trying to reach those pinnacles. While this is definitely a problem that runs rampant in today’s society, it is not just a modern affliction. Miller shows us that families dealt with the same issues in the 40’s and 50’s. As noted in Sparknotes, “The play examines the cost of blind faith in the American Dream”. (1) While there is no concrete way to prove when this all began, we can assume it predates the twentieth century.
Simply speaking being lazy is not a new idea.
The first glimpse we see into the Lohman families ethics is in the first act whe...


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Beyer, William. Arthur Miller “Death of a Salesman” text and criticism.
Ed. Gerald Weales. New York: The Viking Press, 1972.

Charters, Ann, and Samuel Charters. Literature and its Writers. 4th ed.
Boston/ New York: Bedford/ St. Martin’s 2007.

“Death of a Salesman Study Guide by Arthur Miller: Historical
Context.” Bookrags. 12 Mar. 2008
http://bookrags.com/studyguide-deathsalesman/hist.html

Garrison, Craig M. “The System and the American Dream, Death of a
Salesman.” Playwrites. 12 Mar. 2008
http://playwrites.net/salesman1.html

“Revision-Notes: Death of a Salesman.” Revision-Notes. 12 Mar.
2008
http://www.revision-notes.co.uk/revision/16.html

“SparkNotes: Death of a Salesman: Context.” Sparknotes. 12 Mar.
2008
http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/salesman/context.html


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