Willy Loman And The American Dream Analysis

1726 Words7 Pages
The Shadow of The American Dream in Death of A Salesman (Prompt 2) The American Dream is something we all strive for, whether it is subconscious or outright, most all of our major goals in life fall along the same path towards wealth and power. Known as a national ethos of the United States, the American Dream is said to give the people opportunities of prosperity and success no matter what economic or social background they came from. The story, “The Death of A Salesman” by Arthur Miller tells the story of Willy Loman and his failure to achieve the American dream ending in his ultimate downfall. He is a salesman, living in New York city in the late 1940s, with his wife and two sons, often finding himself unhappy and struggling to discover…show more content…
He believes that the real key to success is not hard work, but to be well-liked and charm your way to the top. This can be seen when his son Biff was telling him about how he was making fun of his teacher’s lisp in school and instead of scolding him for being disrespectful, he focuses on how the other kids reacted. “BIFF: I Crossed my eyes and talked with a lithp. WILLY: (Laughing.) You did? The kids like it? BIFF: They nearly died laughing!” (Arthur Miller, Death of A Salesman). House ownership, having a successful nuclear family, and an illusion of being "independent" or "one's own man" are also part of this ideal. Instead of reaching these values, he instead gets caught up in them, resulting in his unhappiness and self-destruction. Good point explain more.You can also see that Willy never fully blames himself or the American system for his failure, it is always someone else’s fault. “WILLY: There’s more people! That’s what’s ruining this country! The competition is maddening! Smell the stink from that apartment house! And the one on the other side… How can they whip cheese?” (Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman). This mindset often prevents him from bettering himself and living up to his full potential by causing his to sit around and wait for things to get better on their…show more content…
In the play, “The Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, the main character Willy is portrayed as a tragic hero as he lives his life with a warped perception of the American dream leading to his downfall. He can be seen favoring reputation over hard work, an ideal that costs him a great deal throughout the story. His many failed attempts to achieve the American dream land him in self-destructive patterns and blindness to reality. Charley and Bernard serve as an example of the true American dream. The audience as well as Willy himself often compares the characters with the Loman family. The true tragedy of the play comes at the end, when Willy finally sees the reality of his life and ultimately commits suicide. Within almost everything that takes place in the play, “The Death of a Salesman”. The shadow of the American dream is found looming over the characters and the world around them. Everyone strives to attain it, but if someone like Willy Loman goes after it the wrong way, tragedy may
Open Document