A Comparison of the Dream in Death of a Salesman, Ellis Island, and America and I

1328 Words 6 Pages
The Dream in Death of a Salesman, Ellis Island, and America and I

The American dream is as varied as the people who populate America. The play The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, the poem "Ellis Island" by Joseph Bruchac, and the poem "America and I" by Anzia Yezierska illustrate different perspectives of the American dream. All three authors show some lines of thought on what the freedom inherent in the American dream means. The authors clarify distinct ideas on the means to achieving the American dream. The authors also elucidate some different goals striven for in the dream for a better life. Diverse ideas on how freedom plays into the American dream, what actions are needed to achieve the American dream,
…show more content…
14-15). Besides the freedom of opportunity, the freedom of self-determination, the ability to decide your own fate, is shown to be inherent in the American dream. In The Death of a Salesman Biff determines his own destiny and thereby achieves the American dream. Rather than becoming a salesman as his father had hoped, Biff decided to work with his hands-the lifestyle which he new he could enjoy. The poem " Ellis Island" said that the American dream is not achieved with the self-determination of Americans, but rather, it is achieved by the theft of self-determination from Native Americans. The line, "When the earth became owned", tells the reader that Americans only enjoy success because they took America, the land of success, from its original residents, the Native Americans (Bruchac l. 22). The poem "America and I" mentions the freedom gained once people are liberated from constant hunger. It says, "For the first time in America, I'd cease to be a slave of the belly. I'd be a creator, a giver, a human being" (Yezierska l. 16-17). When freed from the constant need to find food, men can put their efforts towards achieving their dreams. In addition to showing the relations of freedom to the American dream, the authors gave ideas on how the American dream is achieved.

The authors showed two factors in successfully realizing the American dream: its method and its requirements. The theories on
Open Document