To begin, Willy’s methods of searching for likeability are erroneous. He believes that the superficiality of attractiveness goes hand in hand with being well liked. Willy’s downfall started with his impression of Dave Singleman, an 84 year old salesman. According to Willy, he had “…the greatest career a man could want.” Sure this man was liked in cities around the world, but Willy’s altered perception of the American dream masked the realities of his life. Willy failed to see that instead of being retired at 84, Dave Singleman was unwed, still working, and in the end “dies the death of a salesman”; alone and without love. Believing in this dream, ultimately leads Willy to his hubris; too proud to be anything but a salesman. Throughout the play, Charlie often asks Willy, “You want a job?” Instead of escaping his reality of unpaid bills and unhappiness, Willy’s shallow values lead him to refuse the switch from him attractive job, to that of a carpent...
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...y equals achievement. Willy’s values have made his children just as unhappy as he is. 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. The only way to realize the objective without any despair is the opposite of Willy Loman’s methods: genuineness, perseverance and humility.
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