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Death of The American Dream

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The American dream is an ideal that most people are often left wanting. To be able to essentially rise from nothing and grow to be financially stable and live life in excess after a great deal of hard work. In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, the American dream is represented in different ways by the characters, though most of the plot centers around Willy’s failed aspirations for the American dream. Miller shows that the American Dream may not actually be reachable by everybody or that it may not even be a relevant dream for everybody in America.
Most of the story takes place in flashbacks that Willy experiences. Willy believed that he would’ve been able to achieve the American dream, which to him was to become a salesman, specifically similar to Dave Singleman, that could easily sell anything to anybody, if he worked hard enough for it. In the end this proved to not be a successful endeavor, and he dwells on the idea that if in the past he went with his brother to Alaska, he may have come out as successful and rich as he supposedly had. As stated in Cardullo’s reproduction of an essay written by David Mamet, some of Willy’s flashbacks may be inaccurate accounts of the past, as Willy seems to contradict himself, even immediately following something that he says, "I'm very well liked in Hartford. You know, the trouble is, people don't seem to take to me" (Cardullo). This demonstrates that perhaps Willy had no chance of ever reaching the American dream, as he may not have ever had the opportunity to go with his brother, he just thinks that he did.
Linda, Willy’s wife, seems to have a fairly small role in the play. She believes that the American dream is achievable by anybody, and supposedly is even the reason that Willy is un...

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... Shockley states that Miller “[focuses] on an altered dream: the self-reliant individual,” which is more akin to Biff’s view, and that Willy himself was not able to achieve this with his given instruments.

Works Cited
Cardullo, Bert. "Death Of A Salesman," Life Of A Jew: Ethnicity, Business, And The
Character Of Willy Loman." Southwest Review 92.4 (2007): 583-596.Academic Search Complete. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. The Norton Introduction to Literature. 11th. ed. Ed.
Kelly J. Mays. New York: Norton, 2013. 2109-2175. Print.
Shockley, John S. "Death Of A Salesman And American Leadership: Life Imitates Art."
Journal Of American Culture (01911813) 17.2 (1994): 49. Academic Search
Complete. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
Thompson, Terry W. "Miller's DEATH OF A SALESMAN." Explicator 63.4 (2005):
244-247. Academic Search Complete. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
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