Although Willy has good intentions, his tragic flaw is that he focuses only on the appearance of the American Dream and never on the reality, the work ethic, or how to achieve it. Willy brings about his own downfall, his defeat, because he tries to pursue this "superficial" idea. Miller includes this theme of the American Dream in his social criticism in an attempt to portray the deviation in the values of society. For instance, materialism and technological advances, causes the American Dream to change as times changes. The salesman is a position that has declining importance at the time.
American dream. Miller alludes to an earlier version of the American dream - escape to the West and the farm, but he then denies us the fulfillment of our expectations. The play makes no judgment on America, although Miller seems always on the verge of one. But Willy is not a tragic hero; he is a foolish and ineffectual man for whom we feel pity. We cannot equate Willy?s failure to realize his dream with the failure of the American dream.
While Miller’s plays are designed to draw questions and moral dilemma for their audience it seems as if some critics have taken Miller’s open invitation too literally. One of the popularly presented arguments against Salesman is that there is no significant gain that is lost. They seem to feel that because the pedestal Willy sat on wasn’t that tall, he never reached a point where his death and failure could be considered that significant of a loss. “If the plot is not to be simply a mocking of the non-passive man, it must show a real chance of heroism and change. This Miller fails to do” (Mottram 33).
It sometimes depends on who you know and what you do. The play conveys a series of emotions, nobility of the hero, and reversal of the fortune and organic unity. In the end, however Miller implies that Willy’s death was not essential because it was due to his disillusioned belied that in the empty promises of capitalism lied the real American dream of contentment.
Once he reaches any goal, he never sees the good in it; instead he only sees what he could have done better. “Perfection is just a figment of the imagination, an intangible illusion, just as the American Dream is in Willy’s mind.” (Nadi 2005) ... ... middle of paper ... ...lly’s mindset on perfection, his obsession with success, and his constant reminiscence of the past and predictions of the future, all contribute to his defeat in the end. He shows that an individual’s values are based on what society has established. Yet, as society changes, the values one have may not, causing conflict between the society and the individual. Works Cited Critical Analysis of "Death of a Salesman".
After everything, Willy has in the end installed his own contradictory ideas into his children. In brief, it is apparent that Willy’s own actions led to not only his own demise, but his children’s as well. The salesman tragically misinterpreted the American Dream for only the superficial qualities of beauty, likeability and prosperity. Perhaps if Willy had been more focused on the truth of a person’s character, rather than purely physical aspects, his family’s struggles and his own suicide could have been avoided. On the whole, Arthur Miller’s play is evidence that the search for any dream or goal is not as easy and the end result may seem.
Happy, unfortunately, has similar traits of his father, especially in the myth of the American Dream. He is delusional in this respect. Miller’s play reflects that not all of America’s citizens are able to participate in her prosperity, but that there are other important personal accomplishments such as value for oneself and family. Willy was blind to everything except his personal failures, which helped to hinder and undermine a healthy response to life challenges.
In ' 'Death of a Salesman ' ' by Arthur Miller and ' 'The Great Gatsby ' ' by F. Scott Fitzgerald we are presented with the tragedy of ruined idealism. Willy Loman 's and Jay Gatsby 's dreams are crushed because of their tremendous desire to be meaningful and significant. However, their social status, lineage, and ability to accept reality are incompatible with their dreams. Miller provides the facts that capitalism will not give a chance to ordinary people to get the American dream, and contrary Fitzgerald designates that achievement of the American dream will not bring happiness. Fitzgerald 's main character is romantic, believes in the American dream, continues to reach for purity, and he lives with the memory of his love for Daisy.
Throughout this play Willy believes that in order to be successful, it doesn’t just take hard work, but it takes a likeable personality, the ability to be popular and well known. Willy encourages this perception onto his sons Biff and Happy. However, throughout the play Willy realizes that the American Dream he was chasing wasn’t going to be achieved, which ultimately lead to his death. In the beginning of the play when Bernard notifies his Uncle Willy that Biff is failing math. Willy entirely disregards Bernard and only cares about Bi... ... middle of paper ... ...grasp the truth of his unaccomplished life and his failure as a father and a husband and a successful man.
Willy grows up in the “wild prosperity of the 1920’s” when rags-to-riches tales inspire everybody, making them believe that “achieving material success [is] God’s intention for humankind (Abbotson, Criticism by Bloom). Willy’s father, a “very great” and “wildhearted man,” made a living traveling and selling flutes, making “more in a week than a man like [Willy] could make in a lifetime” (Miller 34). Even though Willy barely knew his dad, he built him u... ... middle of paper ... ...and Bernard exemplify how hard work creates success and show the extent of Willy’s hubris through his stubborn refusals to job offers, and Simon Stimson’s negative outlook on life proves to be the most realistic of the town. Now you know! That’s what it was like to be alive.