Essay about Willy's Wrong Dreams in Death of a Salesman

Essay about Willy's Wrong Dreams in Death of a Salesman

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“He had all the wrong dreams. All, all, wrong.” Why were these dreams ‘Wrong’; analyse what the ‘right’ dreams would have been. Base your answer entirely on the text.

Willy had quite a few ‘wrong’ dreams and they could have turned into ‘right’ dreams if his perception of the American dream was right. Dave Singleman was the man who sowed the false umbrella dream in Willy’s mind. This umbrella dream was the American dream, for all the smaller dreams Willy came up with, started with the pursuit of the American dream. However Willy’s perception of this dream was warped and therefore the rest of his dreams turned out wrong. His version of the American dream was to be able to achieve success and wealth through being well liked and popular, and not through hard work and skill.

Willy saw Dave Singleman to be a great salesman and an embodiment of the American dream, because Dave was wealthy and many people liked him and therefore he could sell things over the phone. Then Willy decided “that selling was the greatest career a man could want.”[pg.63]. The word ‘greatest’ suggests that Willy regards selling as the best and most important career a person could strive for.
Similarly this could be seen as Willy’s first ‘wrong’ dream. First of all Willy started to chase this dream with everything he has but came out empty handed. He is terrible at selling things and is an unsuccessful salesman. He is put onto to straight commission because he isn’t selling anymore, eventually gets fired from his job, and had to lend money from his neighbor Charley in order to pay the debts he had. He is also not content with his job because he came home and a “word-sigh escapes his lips.., “Oh, boy, oh, boy.””[pg.8]. The word “sigh” infers that Willy came ...

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...the stoop; finishing the cellar; putting on the new porch; when he built the extra bathroom; and put up the garage.”[pg.110]. By him listing all the things Willy has accomplished it almost counts for the little legacy he has left behind by building those things and he regarded them as important. Biff also mentioned that “there’s more of him in that front stoop than in all the sales he ever made.”[pg.110]The word ‘ever’ suggested that in the whole of Willy’s lifetime he was mostly remembered for his handiwork than in the things he had sold.

If Willy had not got the wrong impression of the American dream he would have had the right dreams and would still be alive. Things could have turned out differently for him and his family. But unfortunately Willy died the death of salesman at least that is the one thing he could relate himself with Dave Singleman to.

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