Achieving the American Dream in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

1189 Words 5 Pages
Achieving the American Dream in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Willy Loman is a man on a mission. His purpose in life is to achieve a false sense of the "American Dream," but is this what Willy Loman really wants? In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller analyzes the American Dream by portraying to us a few days in the life of a washed up salesman named Willy Loman. The American Dream is a definite goal of many people, meaning something different to everyone. Willy's version is different from most people though; his is based more on being well-liked and achieving monetary successes rather than achieving something that will make him happy. Willy never becomes part of the "American Dream" because he never follows his true dreams and
…show more content…
If people work their entire lives to achieve something that they can enjoy at the end of their life, they will miss the entire journey in between. "The American Dream" is the basis of American culture although some ideals at the heart of it seem incorrect.

Willy Loman's dream is an adaptation of the American Dream. Willy believes that the only things that are important in life are the successes that he achieved and the amount of friends that he made. This is easily illustrated when Willy says " It's who you know and the smile on your face! ... and that's the wonder, the wonder of this country, that a man can end with diamonds here on the basis of being liked!" (Movie). Success is an important part of the American dream, but Willy puts too much importance on the need to achieve success. He neglects the needs of his family and chooses to remain in the mindset that as long as he is well liked he will achieve success. Although he has lost his ability to sell, Willy continues to believe that as long as he works hard good things will happen to him and his family. Willy's wife Linda realizes this and conveys these thoughts to her sons when she says "He drives seven hundred miles, and when he gets there no one knows him anymore… what goes through a man's mind, driving seven hundred miles home without earning a cent?" (Movie). Willy has delusional ideas about the American Dream. Even in the end Willy still believes that the only thing Biff needs to be successful is some
Open Document