Analysis Of 'Death Of A Salesman' By Arthur Miller

1643 Words7 Pages
Shivani Shikha May25, 2014 English IV, period 5 Mr. Herberg Research Paper Assignment: Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Entrapped by a sense of tremendous dissatisfaction and unrest spurring from a blind faith in the American Dream, Arthur Miller subtly castigates America for selling a deceptive myth fabricated around a capitalist materialism that was engendered by the aftermath of World War I. By spotlighting the most systemic weak links in the magnificently glorified American dream, Miller creates his own specific genre called the "American Tragedy. " In contrast to a more widely known Shakespearen Tragedy, "The American Tragedy" focuses theatrically on the downfall and the fatal flaw of a plebian individual, instead of a King or Queen bestowed with high prestige and renown. "Fascinated by realism and expressionism, Miller incorporated both elements to scrutinize the inner turmoil of an average man amidst the reality of events. "The American dream and its delusions are everywhere," (Helterman 92) and throughout the play, Miller points to the fact that reality pales in comparison to one's hopes and dreams. The American Dream is a crippling liability that dictates over Willy Loman, the main character, who is confined to his expectations of an orgasmic retirement. The only person that contrasts severely with Willy is coincidentally his wife, who stands out to be the only individual to be liberated from the tyranny of excessive dreaming and dwelling within the prospective promises of the American Dream. This leads us to the natural question: do our dreams represent our ultimate downfall? The quintessential American ideal of the boundless dreams and "golden success' has trespassed all boundaries of reality and actuality. Througho... ... middle of paper ... ...t like Miller's father, both Biff and the author become part of a select group on the periphery recognizing that the selling of the "American Dream" is a sham. Arthur Miller in Death of a Salesman accuses American capitalism of selling a lie, a distorted picture of the American Dream, to everyday Americans like Willy. Miller's message portrays the downfall or the "hamartia" that's ingrained into the American dream, that permeated the lives of many including his own father. This fatal flaw manifests itself through the self-created and self-imposed tyranny of dreams and hopes we have for the future, that lead us to an abyss of disappointment and disapprobation at the end. By examining the inherent illusions built in the American Dream and drawing experiences of his own life, Miller attacks the growing emergence of capitalism and negates the premise in American Dream.
Open Document