Death of a Salesman Analysis

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Many works of literature have the theme of a failed American Dream, which is the basic idea that no matter what social class an individual may be, they still have an equal ability to achieve prosperity and a good life for their family; however, there has been much debate over whether or not the American dream is still obtainable in modern society. One piece of American literature that substantiates the fact that the American Dream can not be gotten is Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman which describes the tragedy of the average person in America. A number of other writers also draw the inability to capture the American Dream. John Steinbeck demonstrates in his highly acclaimed novel The Grapes of Wrath how hard economic times can devastate the typical American family and their struggle for the American Dream. Similarly, Scott Fitzgerald exhibits Jay Gatsby’s vain venture to realize the American Dream in The Great Gatsby. All of the authors illustrate their opinion that having the American Dream is not feasible. Arthur Miller further argues through his play Death of a Salesman that the American Dream is an illusion not merely for Willy Loman, but for nearly everyone in America. Willy Loman, the tragic hero of Death of a Salesman succumbs to the rules of society and therefore can not live the American Dream. Susan Abbotson, professor of literature at Rhode Island College writes in her analysis of Death of a Salesman from her book Critical Companion to Arthur Miller: “In Miller’s opinion, the blame of failure should not be attached to insignificant cogs in the social machine like the Lomans but should be partially attributed to the larger social forces that operate people’s lives. Economics play an important part in the creation ... ... middle of paper ... ...esman. 1st ed. New York: Crown Publishers, 1987. 6. Print. Jacobson, Irving. "Family Dreams in Death of a Salesman."Readings on Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman. Ed. Thomas Siebold. 1st ed. San Deigo: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1999. 75. Print. Porter, Thomas. "Myth and Modern American Drama."Readings on Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman. Ed. Thomas Siebold. 1st ed. San Deigo: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1997. 111-12. Print. Stanton, Kay. "Women and the American Dream of Death of a Salesman." Readings on Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman. Ed. Thomas Siebold. 1st ed. San Deigo: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1999. 134-35. Print. Steinbeck, John . The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin Classics, 2006. 74. Print. Weales, Gerald. "American Drama Since World War II."Readings on Arthur Miller. Ed. Thomas Siebold. 1st ed. San Deigo: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1997. 78. Print.

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