Essay on The American Dream By Arthur Miller

Essay on The American Dream By Arthur Miller

Length: 1175 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

America is one of the few countries in the world where the dreams of all are set high on a pedestal. In America, people fall in love with the dream that if a worker strives enough, they can work their way from the bottom to the pinnacle of success. However, in order to reach their pinnacle of success, people tend to make sacrifices that can be detrimental to their well-being. Studies suggest that one must have social interactions in order to exist as a normal human being. Mankind was not created to live alone, but to depend on others. People sacrifice strong social bonds by socially isolating themselves to achieve success. In order to achieve the most and maintain a focus, a worker will become ensconced in their work and the American dream becomes an obsession. Isolation leads to detrimental effects such as depression, delusional, irrational behavior, and even brain damage. Arthur Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright in the forties and fifties when the American dream was most prevalent, captured the desire for success and the possible dangers in the pursuit of the American dream. Arthur Miller also wrote The Crucible, The Price, but his masterpiece was Death of a Salesman. In Death of a Salesman, the protagonist’s social isolation lead to his ultimate demise when his desire for success transcended into an unstoppable obsession.
In the Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is a tragic hero who is constantly dreaming of achievement but makes his living as an unsuccessful salesman. Willy is lonely and isolated for hours when he drives to the cities where he makes sales. After nearly crashing from daydreaming, Willy requests a local office job in New York. Instead his boss, Howard, fires him. Willy has broken relationships with h...


... middle of paper ...


... on to be a lawyer and Biff was unable to graduate his senior year, lost his university scholarships, and became a farmhand because he flunked math. Willy believes in the need for affiliation because he is a salesman, and when one is a salesman, they must sell not only goods but also their charismatic personality in order to be successful. While this is understood for a salesman, this desire transformed because Willy lost his rationality in isolation. His sons worry about him when they come home and say, “He stops at a green light and then it turns red and he goes…Somethings–happening to him. He–talks to himself” (Miller 20-21). Willy’s irrational behavior was due to the isolation in which his wife defends Willy saying, “And what goes through a man’s mind, driving seven hundred miles home without` having earned a cent? Why shouldn’t he talk to himself?” (Miller 57).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Failure of the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

- Failure of the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is a story about the dark side of the "American Dream".  Willy Loman's obsession with the dream directly causes his failure in life, which, in turn, leads to his eventual suicide.  The pursuit of the dream also destroys the lives of Willy's family, as well.  Through the Lomans, Arthur Miller attempts to create a typical American family of the time, and, in doing so, the reader can relate to the crises that the family is faced with and realize that everyone has problems.    Willy Loman equates success as a human being with success in the business world.  When Willy was a young man, he...   [tags: Death Salesman Essays Arthur Miller]

Strong Essays
933 words (2.7 pages)

Achieving the American Dream in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Essay example

- Achieving the American Dream in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Willy Loman is a man on a mission. His purpose in life is to achieve a false sense of the "American Dream," but is this what Willy Loman really wants. In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller analyzes the American Dream by portraying to us a few days in the life of a washed up salesman named Willy Loman. The American Dream is a definite goal of many people, meaning something different to everyone. Willy's version is different from most people though; his is based more on being well-liked and achieving monetary successes rather than achieving something that will make him happy....   [tags: Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller Essays]

Strong Essays
1202 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

- The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Material happiness provides the ambition behind seeking the "Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman ." In Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Willy Loman's determination to live up to his "American Dream" and to seek material happiness only takes his life. What is the "American Dream". The "American Dream" cannot be defined. I know that my "American Dream" consists of a Porsche, a large house, and a happy family. Willy Loman's definition does not differ greatly from mine although while trying to pursue this dream, Willy's mind slowly drifted further and further away from reality....   [tags: Death of a Salesman]

Free Essays
456 words (1.3 pages)

Essay about Failure of the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

- Failure of the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman   In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller "forces the reader to deal with the failure of the American Dream"(Field 2367) and the effect it had on the Loman family, how it ruins the life of Willy, and destroys Biff’s life as well.  By focusing on serious problems that the reader can relate to, Arthur Miller connects us with the characters facing these life-altering crisis.              To Willy Loman success is defined as being a well-liked businessman.  As Willy grew up, his American Dream was to be able to “pick up his phone and call the buyers, and without ever leaving his room, at the age of eighty-four, make his livi...   [tags: Death of a Salesman]

Strong Essays
891 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

- The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Within the tragic play, Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman destroys himself trying to achieve a dream. Yet, the dream that destroys Willy is not one that he has chosen. Willy Loman does not choose this destructive dream because he does not know himself, Willy Loman does not choose a dream at all, one is forced upon him by society. Willy Loman spends the expanse of the play trying to achieve wealth, fame, and the like of others. These ideas epitomize the American Dream, to become a successful, well-liked businessman....   [tags: Death of a Salesman]

Free Essays
478 words (1.4 pages)

Essay about The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

- The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman The American Dream ~ for many, it is the unlocked door that leads to happiness.  It is the hope for a future filled with success and fortune.  Although most people have a similar idea of what the American Dream is, they may have different ideas on how to achieve it.  For Willy Loman, a struggling salesman, achieving this dream would be a major accomplishment.  Unfortunately, his unusual ideas of how this dream can be achieved prevent him from reaching his goal.              Out of all of Willy’s unusual ideas, one major pattern we can notice is how Willy truly believes that popularity and physical appearance are what make people...   [tags: Death of a Salesman]

Strong Essays
808 words (2.3 pages)

Search for the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay

- Search for the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman What is the American Dream. Some believe in the nineteen fifties ideal created through television. Successful children, perfect families, and a happy stay-at-home mother are all associated with this version. Yet, everyone knows that the children are not always successful, there are family fights, and not every mother can be at home and happy. Many families have lifelong searches for the ideal American Dreams and never find one....   [tags: Death of a Salesman]

Free Essays
785 words (2.2 pages)

The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay

- The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Throughout Death of a Salesman the males of the Loman family cannot distinguish between the reality of the American Dream and the illusion of it. Willy cannot see who Happy and Biff actually are as individuals or himself for that matter. Therefore, Willy and his sons believe that they all know and have what it takes to be a success in life and in business. In actuality the success of both falls very far from the ideal American Dream of their time....   [tags: Death of a Salesman Essays]

Free Essays
418 words (1.2 pages)

Destruction of the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of A Salesman

- Destruction of the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of A Salesman A white picket fence surrounds the tangible icons of the American Dreams in the middle 1900's: a mortgage, an automobile, a kitchen appliance paid for on the monthly - installment - plan, and a silver trophy representative of high school football triumph. A pathetic tale examining the consequences of man's harmartias, Arthur Miller's "Death of A Salesman" satisfies many, but not all, of the essential elements of a tragedy....   [tags: Death of a Salesman Essays]

Strong Essays
822 words (2.3 pages)

Misguided American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay

- Misguided American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Death of a Salesman deals with hopes and dreams gone wrong. This does not necessarily have to be the "American" dream as such, because all people share the same hopes and dreams, regardless of nationality. The underlying factor, and the inevitable truth is that we all have to dream, dreams are important for human existence. It is evident to the reader that for Willy, his ultimate dream was to follow in the footsteps of Uncle Ben and become a successful salesman....   [tags: Death Salesman essays]

Free Essays
862 words (2.5 pages)