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The Myth of the American Dream Exposed in Death of a Salesman Essay

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Miller's work on “Death of a Salesman” is an example piece of work furthering the social protest involving totalitarianism and the American Dream. Throughout the piece, Miller uses his voice of conscience and passion for the purpose of exposing the truth about the concepts. Using the perspective of Willy, a fictional, working class citizen, Miller picks apart the myth of the American Dream, exploring topics such as abandonment, betrayal, family dynamics, and using interesting symbolism along the way.

With reckless abandon, Willy believes in the idea of the American Dream. In fact, that's a bit of an understatement. Willy is a dreamer, one that continues following that until it's too late. In “13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?”, William Strauss explores and explains the baby boomer generations misunderstanding. Throughout, he describes the forces that shaped it into a reactive generation. He evidences the recessions and possibility of bankruptcy of our social security systems causing a less than fortunate retirement situation for said generation, and does so with the trends of the culture, statistics of sociological studies, and census data. It really lays out a firm foundation for an understanding of the paradigm that the generation went through. It is used well in context with Miller's Death of a Salesman due to the insight offered involving the political and social economics behind the myth of the American dream. The kind of dream that promises to deliver a successful and materialistic lifestyle for those that are hard-working, upstanding citizens. Looking a little deeper, one might find it strange to attempt a fusion of the vastly different concepts of Willy's expectations for life. His fascination and perhaps...


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...er perspective, Biff perhaps feels as though he has been betrayed since his father had been constantly trying to sell him a lifestyle of hope in the American Dream, only to find out that it was all made of lies.


Works Cited

Strauss, William. 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail? N.p.: Vintage, 1993. CQ Researcher. Web. 7

Dec. 2011.

Bowles, Samuel. Unequal Chances: Family Background and Economic Success. Princeton, NJ:

Princeton University Press, 2005. N. pag. Princeton University Press. CQ Researcher. Web. 7 Dec.

2011.

Shipler, David K. The Working Poor: Invisible in America. N.p.: Knopf, 2004. N. pag. Princeton

University Press. Princeton.edu. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.

Cox, Michael W., and Richard Alm. Myths of Rich & Poor: Why We're Better Off Than We Think.

N.p.: Basic Books, 1999. N. pag. Print.



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