Death Of A Salesm The American Dream Essay

Death Of A Salesm The American Dream Essay

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The United States of America is perceived to be the nation where everyone has the chance to succeed, an ethos which has been dubbed the American Dream. The Dream, which is truly a dream, is that every man, woman, and child can succeed if they work hard enough. Yet, in Death of a Salesman the American Dream is dead. The debate as to whether or not the American Dream is functioning has always been based on the perspective of whoever is judging it. In essence, a person’s social, political, and economic situation shapes their decisions as to whether or not it is alive and well. First premiered in 1949 , Death of a Salesman negatively demonstrates the illusive American Dream, its affects on society, and how it can mislead and destroy an individual. Portrayed through the characters of Willy, Biff, and situations involving Bernard and Charlie, the American Dream is met with stark criticism regarding its purpose in American culture and the minds of Americans. These characters and situations are utilized to portray a broken and imaginary American Dream, and it is thus which propels the tragedy in Death of a Salesman.
The beliefs, morals, and traits of the lead character Willy Loman are based off of the American Dream. As the play develops his failure to attain the American Dream is demonstrated through his belief that personality trumps hard work, his visions of his older brother Ben, and the denial of his failure. Arthur Miller used Willy Loman to demonstrate a significant flaw in society, the belief that personality trumps hard work. A prime of example of this is Willy’s tone and word choice while describing Charley. In a flashback when Willy returns from selling in Providence and Boston, young Biff, Happy, and Willy (relative) start to...


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...the American Dream because according to the Dream everybody can achieve greatness, but the play demonstrates that only a select few can. Bernard and Charlie are instrumental in criticizing the American Dream and instead demonstrate a realistic attainable version unlike Ben 's absurd version. This is done through Bernard 's success, the mocking of Red Grange, and Charley helping Willy.
Whether or not everyone has the chance to succeed is always based on the situation that they find themselves in, and in this case the chance of attaining the so-called American Dream is minimal. The American Dream is criticized through numerous characters and situations, ranging from Willy and Biff to Bernard and Charlie. Arthur Miller used these characters and situations to point out key flaws in the American Dream, and the most important thing, to never take anything at face value.

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