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Popularity, Physical Appearance, and the American Dream in Death of a Salesman

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Popularity, Physical Appearance, and the American Dream in Death of a Salesman

For most, the American Dream is a sure fire shot at true happiness. It represents hope for a successful, fortune-filled future. Though most agree on the meaning of the American Dream, few follow the same path to achieving it. For struggling salesman Willy Loman, achieving this dream would mean a completely fulfilled existence. Unfortunately, Willy's simplistic ideas on how to accomplish his goal are what ultimately prevent him from reaching it.

Out of all of Willy's simplistic ideals, one major pattern we can notice is how Willy truly believes that popularity and physical appearance are what make people wealthy. We are first introduced to this idea when Willy is speaking to his wife, Linda, about their son Biff. "Biff Loman is lost," says Willy. "In the greatest country in the world, a young man with such personal attractiveness gets lost." In this quote, not only is Willy confused about how Biff's good looks can't help him get a job, but also because his son can't get a job in a country like Ame...

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... things that made people successful in life, regardless of whether or not hard work was involved. Because of these simplistic ideas, Willy went through life with a somewhat naive frame of mind, and was unable to reach his goal of achieving the American Dream.

Works Cited

Lewis, Allan. American Plays and Playwrights. New York, NY: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1970. 47.

Miller, Arthur. "Death of a Salesman." Discovering Literature: Stories, Poems, Plays. Ed. Hans P. Guth and Gabriele L. Rico. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997. 1211-82.
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