Success and the American Dream in Arthur Millers

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Success and the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Death Salesman essays
Success and the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman


What is the American dream? I decided to ask a few people as to what they thought it was. One person told me that the American dream was to be rich. Another person told me it was having a perfect family situation. The last person believed the American dream was to be able to do absolutely nothing. Whether it is a family working together towards one common goal, or a single woman working her way up the ladder, in a sense it is all the same dream. Regardless of the goal one works towards, it all comes down to success. Success includes getting ahead at work and school, and the goal of attaining wealth, power, and prestige. Without success why would anyone want to do anything? You would think that success is free to every American, but it is not. Success is afforded or denied to a person if they qualify. In Death of a Salesman, I believe Willy Loman was not successful in anything he did because he lived in his own world.

A big indicator to one's success is their performance on the job. If a person is doing well, generally, they are successful. In the beginning of the play Willy Loman comments on how he was "vital to New England". This is a great example of how Willy's distortion compromised his obtainment of success. In all reality he was not "vital to New England", but a hindrance to his company. Th...

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