Flaws in the American Dream in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Death of a Salesman

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Introduction The idea of The American Dream, according to James Truslaw Adams’s, is that people should strive for a richer and a successful lifestyle, according to their ability and achievement, meaning that anybody can become successful, if the effort or talent is present. (Reference) Albee and Miller have both produced plays which interrogate the idea of ‘The American Dream’. In Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Is a 3 act play written by Edward Albee in 1962. In this (----) we are introduced to a couple, George and Martha, who invite Nick and Honey over to their home. In this drama we are shown the destructive nature and influence of The American dream, as it revolves around conflicting relationship of George and Martha. In the first act, Martha demeans George in front of the young couple, showing her dominant character and power over George and as a response to show the younger couple that he is not that weak, he fires an umbrella launched from a fake gun, scaring the guests. During the second act, Martha shows George’s only attempt to become more successful and that is his only novel, which was dismissed by Martha’s father. George in fury, grabs Martha by the throat, an unexpected act, as his character is revolved around wit and word play. Meanwhile Honey realizes that she is in fact not pregnant and it was all a result of hysteria. Martha seduces Nick, while George reads his book in a calm manner, however the when Martha and Nick head upstairs, George violently discards the book and declares the child dead. In the last act Martha has a soliloquy about their relationship, calling the guests to the living room afterwards. George rings a bell and arrives with a bouquet of snapdragons, which according to George, are "Flores para ... ... middle of paper ... ...nizable. However knowing that Willy hit the end of his career, he tries to commit suicide so he will earn his final money through insurance company, to make sure his family will lead a more successful life. It is also a way to cope with his past, when he was seen with a prostitute by his son Biff, his eldest son who is later told to cheat in order to be famous and successful, leading a life of deception. Unable to face the reality, Willy commits suicide. Taking the illusion of The American Dream to his grave. In 1961, before Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Albee wrote a 1 act play titled ‘The American Dream’, which also criticizes The American dream in a similar fashion, as it is (Include preface of ‘The American Dream’) In this essay I’ll attempt to examine the how the illusion and the hollowness of The American Dream influence the characters from both plays.

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