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The Survival of the American Dream in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

analytical Essay
1123 words
1123 words
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The term, “American Dream,” came from American historian James Truslow Adams who first used the term in his published book, “The Epic of America.” According to Adam himself, he believes that the American Dream is the “dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” (Amadeo). The term has been used differently in today’s society and recalls it as maturing, getting married with the love of your life, having a beautiful home, and positioning in a good paying job to provide for your kids. Others say that the dream is to have a better life and do what you love. Either way, it all boggles down to just being happy. The “American Dream” became widely popular in the United States as Adam published his book during the 1930s and has been used in speeches, memoirs, and literature (Fallon). This term became important to the people in the U.S. because it sets a goal for all of the citizens to work hard for their dreams and happiness. Without this vision, most people wouldn’t know what to live for in life.
In the original 1949 play of Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller was the American playwright. Death of a Salesman was a tragic play that presents a story about a salesman named Willy who believes that personality and being “well-liked” will achieve his American Dream. The play premiered on February 10, 1949 at the Morosco Theatre in Manhattan, New York (Avery). Miller’s play reflected on his relationship with uncle, Manny Newman who was also a salesman like the protagonist of the story and two sons who he took great pride on (Tierney). Through his characterization of Willy and Biff Loman, Miller presents contrasting (or surprising similar) illustra...

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...ng no fun can be just as bad as what Willy Loman has done; he was so caught up in being popular and having these materialistic items that he didn’t get the chance to spend time with his family and do things that he wanted to do.

Works Cited

Amadeo, Kimberly. "What Is the American Dream." About US Economy. About.com, 18 Apr. 2011. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
Avery, Joe. "Arthur Miller Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, 22 Feb. 2010. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
Fallon, George. "The American Dream." Redefining The Dream. Center for a New American Dream, 20 Feb. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
Miller, Arthur. "Death of a Salesman." Compact Literature. Ed. Laurie Kirszner and Stephen Mandell. 8th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2013. 1262-331. Print.
Tierney, John. "The Big City; Willy Loman: Revenge Of a Nephew." The New York Times. The New York Times, 07 Feb. 1999. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how miller illustrates the disintegration of the american dream through the character of willy loman.
  • Analyzes how willy didn't discipline the boys enough to know what's right and wrong. he became even happier and proud for biff whenever he attempted to get into the business world.
  • Analyzes how willy's personal happiness seems to be in the hands of biff whenever linda stated, "biff, his life is in your hands".
  • Analyzes how miller illustrates the survival of the american dream through the character of biff loman.
  • Analyzes how miller shows the audience that the american dream isn't about reaching from rags to riches but finding happiness in life. willy's envy for popularity relates to egocentric desires that occur in today’s time.
  • Explains that the term "american dream" was first used by james truslow adams in his book, "the epic of america."
  • Analyzes how amadeo, kimberly, and fallon, george, "arthur miller biography" and "death of a salesman" were published in compact literature.
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