preview

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Powerful Essays
In “Death of a Salesman” written by Arthur Miller, Willy Lowman is a man obsessed with greatness and his downfall arises directly from the misconception of himself as someone capable of greatness. Willy Lowman “is caught-up in the "American Dream" which consists of a genuine and determined belief that in America all things are possible to all men regardless of birth or wealth” (Zhao). The “American Dream” is the belief that through hard work, perseverance and ingenuity one may find happiness through wealth. This is the core of our lives as Americans and we all strive to accomplish it one way or another. Arthur Miller displays Willy as a symbol for the everyday man that tries and tries but is unable to attain the “American Dream” of success and high social status and becomes a victim of this. Willy is an avid believer that greatness is derived from popularity and he instills these values into his family. Willy Lowman had already to an extent achieved the prototypical “American Dream” as he had a house, car, family and job, but becomes so obsessed with something so unreachable that he dismantles his family and self.
Willy Lowman had already achieved the prototypical “American Dream” but due to his ambition he was unable to realize it. As a young man, Willy was going to go to Alaska to attempt to strike it rich like his brother. Around the time that Willy was deciding on whether or not to go to Alaska he met a man named Dave Singleman. Dave Singleman was “a salesman, who had drummed merchandise in thirty-one states, was eighty-four years old at the time that Willy met him, and still making his living as a salesman. According to Willy, he could go into twenty or thirty different cities, pick up a phone, and call the buyers, who wo...

... middle of paper ...

...ble of greatness when he is merely an ordinary man. His beliefs and ideals in what success comes from are being well liked and good looking. He seems to be overly obsessed with personal appearance because he considers himself someone of great standing and capable of greatness. He fails to realize that he is just an ordinary man. The "American Dream" consists of a genuine and determined belief that in America all things are possible to all men regardless of birth or wealth. The “American Dream” is the belief that through hard work, perseverance and ingenuity one may find happiness through wealth. To some extent Willy Lowman had acquired the American Dream. He had a loving wife, two sons, a car, and a home but he failed to realize this due to his overly ambitious ways. Due to this he dismantled himself and his family to the point where he ultimately ended his life.
Get Access