The American Dream in Death of a Salesman and The Great Gatsby Essay

The American Dream in Death of a Salesman and The Great Gatsby Essay

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Since Columbus made land, people have been searching for the “American Dream”. Many people have their own idea and ideas that have changed over a period of time, but what exactly is the “American Dream” defined as .Origins of the dream have been rooted in the pioneering mentality of the eighteenth and nineteenth century immigrants, most who came to America because of a promise for a new and better life. The American Dream was sought through hard work and determination. After the time of the World Wars, society changed and so did the view of the “American Dream”, it changed from a potential reality into being a dream. People were striving to reach their definition of the American Dream. Beliefs and values took a turn. The American Dream was put up on a pedestal, corrupted by false values and society was pressured by their desires and greed. “The avarice of mankind is insatiable”, was stated twenty-three centuries prior by Aristotle, so this was nothing new. Success and fortune have been a downfall in the search for the American Dream. It has corrupted society’s ethics in all, family values and morals, and psychological well-being. In part to the fact that “The American Dream” and the way Americans wish to live can be unreachable by the average person. Society once was based on truth, passion, and liberty for all but now is a mere illusion, focusing on money, power and how to reach it; portraying materialism and wealth as the “American Dream” and self-actualization, as portrayed by Miller in Death of a Salesman.
The American Dream came to mean fame and fortune, instead of a promise that shaped a nation. (David Kamp, Vanity Fair) This so- called dream has done incredible damage to our companies and corporations in America...


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...ur promises of this country began to wither, and the nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable. The next generations must lower their sights, we know that it is mankind’s nature to have selfish and foolish characters, but we have got to act now. The way Arthur Miller depicts the Loman’s truly criticizes the fact that wealth and success are not the most significant attributes in real life. Death of a Salesman is a red light, it is another example of how America adopts one million ideas and dreams for success. Everyone wants to become the President of America, but when Willy fails to achieve his dreams, he becomes frustrated. His suicide is a caution for such modern values. Miller tried to show the failure of the American Dream while telling us that man is not a machine, he has emotions too. Willy gave his life in order to try and justify the waste of it….”

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