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...
... middle of paper ...
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
Garrison, Craig M. “The System and the American Dream, Death of a
Salesman.” Playwrites. 12 Mar. 2008
“Revision-Notes: Death of a Salesman.” Revision-Notes. 12 Mar.
“SparkNotes: Death of a Salesman: Context.” Sparknotes. 12 Mar.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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.... [tags: Arthur Miller Death Salesman]
1761 words (5 pages)
- The objectives of this written task were to show how Willy’s family (Linda, Biff and Happy) viewed his death and his achievements. I also attempted to illustrate their individual relationships with Willy. I chose to use the format of a formal police report as it allows all three characters to express their views of Willy freely. Emotions were adjusted to the minimum since this is a police report, except for the case of Linda whom I consider would be too weak at that point to control herself. Their stories do not correspond exactly because some are trying to hide the facts.... [tags: Arthur Miller Death Salesman]
1198 words (3.4 pages)
- Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman was written after the second World War while the American economy was booming. Society was becoming very materialistic, and the idea that anyone could “make it” in America was popular. These societal beliefs play a large part in Death of a Salesman, a play in which the main character, Willy Loman, spends a lifetime chasing after the American Dream. Willy was sold on the wrong dream. He was enamored with a myth of American ideals and chose to put aside his real talents in pursuit of a fantasy.... [tags: Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller Essays]
2006 words (5.7 pages)
- Dear Mother, Since I have been visiting your sister’s family for a while now, I do believe that I must inform you of the state in which this family is in. I have some concerns in regards to the well being of the four members living under this tension-filled roof. I am watching a horrible train wreck that is just about to occur right before my baby blue eyes. Linda seems to be a very giving woman. She resembles you, my mother, very much. The difference comes in years; she looks much older than you.... [tags: Arthur Miller Death Salesman]
1540 words (4.4 pages)
- 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]
933 words (2.7 pages)
- Success and Failure in Arthur Miller's Death of A Salesman Most people strive for excellence in their lives and aspire to succeed at whatever they complete. Success means many different things to different people. It includes happiness, money, and a career. In Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, we follow Willy Loman, the protagonist, as he reviews a life of desperate pursuit of a dream of success. Miller uses many characters to contrast the difference between success and failure within the play.... [tags: Death Salesman essays Arthur Miller]
1687 words (4.8 pages)
- Dreams and Success in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman In Arthur Miller's play, Death of a Salesman, Miller probes the dream of Willy Lowman while making a statement about the dreams of American society. This essay will explore how each character of the play contributes to Willy's dream, success, and failure. Willy is the aging salesman whose imagination is much larger than his sales ability. Willy's wife, Linda, stands by her husband even in his absence of realism. Biff and Happy follow in their father's fallacy of life.... [tags: Death Salesman essays Arthur Miller]
1758 words (5 pages)
- Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman as Epic Tragedy Aristotle's Poetics defines the making of a dramatic or epic tragedy and presents the general principles of the construction of this genre. Surprisingly, over the centuries authors have remained remarkably close to Aristotle's guidelines. Arthur Miller's twentieth century tragedy Death of a Salesman is an example of this adherence to Aristotle's prescription for tragedy. It is significant to test Aristotle's definition and requirements of tragedy by comparison and contrast, against a contemporary tragedy and to make observations with regard to what influence society and culture may have on the genre.... [tags: Death Salesman essays Arthur Miller]
1420 words (4.1 pages)
- The Conflicted Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Watching a solitary blade of grass will never tell you the direction of hurricane, just as one characteristic can never describe Linda Loman. In Death of a Salesman, Linda Loman is a woman torn between guilt, retaliation, and pity. Her guilt stems from the fact that she prevented Willy from pursuing his true American Dream; she retaliates in response to Willy's failure; she feels sorry for Willy, because he is a "pitiful lone adventurer of the road" (47).... [tags: Death Salesman essays Arthur Miller]
757 words (2.2 pages)
- The Character of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Willy Loman, the main character in Death of a Salesman is a complex tragic character. He is a man struggling to hold onto the little dignity he has left in a changing society. While society may have caused some of his misfortune, Willy must be held responsible for his poor judgment, disloyalty and foolish pride. Willy Loman is a firm believer in the "American Dream:" the notion that any man can rise from humble beginnings to greatness. His particular slant on this ideal is that a man succeeds by selling his charisma, that to be well liked is the most important asset a man can have. He made a living at this for 30 years... [tags: Death Salesman essays Arthur Miller]
1127 words (3.2 pages)