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America has long been known as a land of opportunity. Out of that thinking comes the "American Dream," the idea that anyone can ultimately achieve success, even if he or she began with nothing. In "The Death of a Salesman", Arthur Miller uses the characterization of Willy Loman to represent the failure of his ideal of the American Dream. Willy’s quest for the American Dream leads to his failure because throughout his life he pursues the illusion of the American Dream and not the reality of it. His mindset on perfection, obsession with success, and his constant reminiscence of the past and predictions of the future, all contribute to his defeat in the end.