Essay on The Importance of A Dream in Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller

Essay on The Importance of A Dream in Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller

Length: 1261 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

To have a fulfilling life, one must have a dream. However, with the wrong dream, even a fulfilling life is not a happy one. For example in the play, Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, the protagonist, Willy Loman, dreams of becoming a respected and successful salesman. However, Willy Loman dreams the wrong dream and as a result its leads to his tragic demise. This is evident through Willy’s dream being unrealistic, Biff's troubles due to Willy instilling his dream into him, Willy's pride resulting from his dream, and the illusion that Willy’s dream creates. As a result, the fabricated life that Willy thought was perfect, ultimately falls apart as it turns into reality.
To begin, Willy dreams the wrong dream because it is simply unrealistic. Willy dreams of becoming a salesman that is popular and successful to the extent that he can make sales from his own home even at an old age. For this reason, Willy idolizes Dave Singleman, an 84 year old salesman that to Willy, exemplifies the pinnacle of success in his field. As Willy explains:
His name was Dave Singleman. And he was eighty-four years old, and he'd drummed merchandise in thirty-one states. And old Dave, he'd go up to his room, y'understand, put on his green velvet slippers-I'll never forget-and pick up his phone and call the buyers, and without ever leaving his room, at the age of eighty-four, he made his living. And when I saw that, I realized that selling was the greatest career a man could want....when he died, hundreds of salesman and buyers were at his funeral(Miller 81).
To Willy, Dave Singleman represents the promise of a successful life through being well liked and having social connections. However, Willy doesn’t realise that to achieve his dream, o...


... middle of paper ...


... that Willy dreams the dream and goes to pursue his own passions. Thus, the illusion of Willy’s life that resulted from him dreaming the wrong dream, ends up in his tragic suicide and the destruction of his family.

In conclusion, it is evident that the demise of Willy Loman, came from him dreaming the wrong dream. This is evident through Willy not being able to achieve his unrealistic dream, the problems Biff faces due to Willy instilling his dream into him, Willy's pride which becomes his hubris, and the illusions of his dream which escalates into his suicide. Although his dream made might have made his life fulfilling to the very end, it was not a happy life. By examining Willy Loman's dream and the impact of a dream in Death of Salesman, the reader can see the importance of a dream in one's life and how it can change it for the better or for the worse.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Achieving the American Dream in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Essay example

- Achieving the American Dream in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Willy Loman is a man on a mission. His purpose in life is to achieve a false sense of the "American Dream," but is this what Willy Loman really wants. In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller analyzes the American Dream by portraying to us a few days in the life of a washed up salesman named Willy Loman. The American Dream is a definite goal of many people, meaning something different to everyone. Willy's version is different from most people though; his is based more on being well-liked and achieving monetary successes rather than achieving something that will make him happy....   [tags: Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller Essays]

Better Essays
1202 words (3.4 pages)

A Shattered Dream in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Essay

- A Shattered Dream in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Death of a Salesman tells the story of a man confronting failure in the success-driven society of America and shows the tragic path, which eventually leads to Willy Loman's suicide. Death of a Salesman?is?a search for identity, [Willy?s] attempt to be a man according to the frontier tradition in which he was raised, and a failure to achieve that identity because in [1942] and in [Brooklyn] that identity cannot be achieved. (Gross 321) Willy is a symbolic icon of the failing American; he represents those that have striven for success in society, but, in struggling to do so, have instead achieved failure in the most bitter form....   [tags: Miller Death Salesman Essays]

Better Essays
2653 words (7.6 pages)

Essay on The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

- The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Material happiness provides the ambition behind seeking the "Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman ." In Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Willy Loman's determination to live up to his "American Dream" and to seek material happiness only takes his life. What is the "American Dream". The "American Dream" cannot be defined. I know that my "American Dream" consists of a Porsche, a large house, and a happy family. Willy Loman's definition does not differ greatly from mine although while trying to pursue this dream, Willy's mind slowly drifted further and further away from reality....   [tags: Death of a Salesman]

Free Essays
456 words (1.3 pages)

Essay about Failure of the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

- Failure of the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman   In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller "forces the reader to deal with the failure of the American Dream"(Field 2367) and the effect it had on the Loman family, how it ruins the life of Willy, and destroys Biff’s life as well.  By focusing on serious problems that the reader can relate to, Arthur Miller connects us with the characters facing these life-altering crisis.              To Willy Loman success is defined as being a well-liked businessman.  As Willy grew up, his American Dream was to be able to “pick up his phone and call the buyers, and without ever leaving his room, at the age of eighty-four, make his livi...   [tags: Death of a Salesman]

Better Essays
891 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

- The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Within the tragic play, Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman destroys himself trying to achieve a dream. Yet, the dream that destroys Willy is not one that he has chosen. Willy Loman does not choose this destructive dream because he does not know himself, Willy Loman does not choose a dream at all, one is forced upon him by society. Willy Loman spends the expanse of the play trying to achieve wealth, fame, and the like of others. These ideas epitomize the American Dream, to become a successful, well-liked businessman....   [tags: Death of a Salesman]

Free Essays
478 words (1.4 pages)

Essay about The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

- The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman The American Dream ~ for many, it is the unlocked door that leads to happiness.  It is the hope for a future filled with success and fortune.  Although most people have a similar idea of what the American Dream is, they may have different ideas on how to achieve it.  For Willy Loman, a struggling salesman, achieving this dream would be a major accomplishment.  Unfortunately, his unusual ideas of how this dream can be achieved prevent him from reaching his goal.              Out of all of Willy’s unusual ideas, one major pattern we can notice is how Willy truly believes that popularity and physical appearance are what make people...   [tags: Death of a Salesman]

Better Essays
808 words (2.3 pages)

Search for the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay

- Search for the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman What is the American Dream. Some believe in the nineteen fifties ideal created through television. Successful children, perfect families, and a happy stay-at-home mother are all associated with this version. Yet, everyone knows that the children are not always successful, there are family fights, and not every mother can be at home and happy. Many families have lifelong searches for the ideal American Dreams and never find one....   [tags: Death of a Salesman]

Free Essays
785 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

- The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Death of a Salesman is centered around one man trying to reach the American dream and taking his family along for the ride. The Loman's lives from beginning to end is a troubling story based on trying to become successful, or at least happy. Throughout their lives they encounter many problems and the end result is a tragic death caused by stupidity and the need to succeed. During his life Willy Loman caused his wife great pain by living a life not realizing what he could and couldn't do....   [tags: Death of a Salesman]

Free Essays
1020 words (2.9 pages)

A Foolish American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay

- A Foolish American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman       Willy Loman is responsible for his own downfall.  Willy finds his own hero and tries to become the hero in his own existence.  Willy tries to become a very successful businessman, at the start of his career he thinks that no one can tell him what to.  Willy is not good with people, he is good with his hands, he is not a good salesman and he chooses the wrong career.  Willy often makes up stories or changes the stories he knows because he cannot face the truth of his life that he has not accomplished as much as he has planned.  Willy's downfall is his own doing which is brought about by his unrealist...   [tags: Death of a Salesman]

Free Essays
772 words (2.2 pages)

The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay

- The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Throughout Death of a Salesman the males of the Loman family cannot distinguish between the reality of the American Dream and the illusion of it. Willy cannot see who Happy and Biff actually are as individuals or himself for that matter. Therefore, Willy and his sons believe that they all know and have what it takes to be a success in life and in business. In actuality the success of both falls very far from the ideal American Dream of their time....   [tags: Death of a Salesman Essays]

Free Essays
418 words (1.2 pages)