97%(79)77 out of 79 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 3 - 5 out of 7 pages.
In Death of a Salesman, it is not the "American dream" of material success that comes under fire but ratherone man's mistaken interpretation of that dream.Willie Loman and his Mistaken View of the American DreamWillie Loman is an ordinary man who embodies traditional American values of success. He hasreached the age where he can no longer compete successful in his chosen career, that of a travelingsalesman. Faced with the termination of his job, he begins to examine his past life to determine its value. Atthis critical point in Willie’s existence, his oldest son Biff has returned home for a visit, and Willie’s old desirefor his son to be a traditional success in life is rekindled. But the old tensions between the two men are alsorenewed. Once again, to Willie’s great disappointment, his son rejects Willie’s values and aspirations.(“Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller 1949 Drama”)The “American Dream” is “the belief that through the pioneer virtues of hard work, perseverance,ingenuity, and fortitude, one might find happiness through wealth” (“Death of a Salesman”). This is thecenter of our lives as Americans; we all want to accomplish it one way or another. The concept of theAmerican Dream shown in the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller is believed by Harold Clurman tobe divided into two meanings; the historical dream and the business success dream. In our society thebiggest achievement is when you buy your own house, and live with a stable job, it does not have to be ahigh paying job but one that allows you to pay your bills and live a decent life, if you have this then youhave achieved the historical dream. In the other hand if you have a high paying job in the corporate world;meaning a white collar job, and although you might or might not own a house but you earn more thanenough for your living expenses then that is consider to be the business success dream. Willie Loman hadalready achieved the historical dream, he had a house, car, family and a job, but he gets obsessed with thebusiness success dream and tries or at least he think he does try to accomplish it but he dismantles hisfamily in the process. Willy Loman had accomplished the historical American Dream but because of his ambition he did notrealize it. When Willy was deciding to go with his brother to look for his father he met Dave Singleman. Davewas an ¨eighty four year old salesman who had drummed merchandise in thirty-one states and who couldnow simply go into his hotel room, call the buyers, and make his living in his green velvet slippers¨ (Stanton131).This view of a tranquil and successful career made him reconsider his decision and instead of going toAlaska he chose to be a salesman. It seems that Willy saw a “father figure” in Dave, so he followed thesame path, hoping he would have the same future and the same success in the field (Stanton 133). After
thirty five years of his career he saw he hasn’t accomplished the success that he wanted. He devoted his