Analysis Of The American Dream In Death Of A Salesman

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Death of Salesman is a story about an extremely hard working man, named Willy, and his family who are struggling in fulfilling their dreams. In Death of a Salesman, Willy has many conflicting feelings with his jobless son Biff. Throughout the story, Willy believes that success will come to him if he works the hardest he can and by being famous in the spectrum of business and jobs. Biff on the other hand realizes that this is not the way success is achieved and is more angered by his father’s delusions towards this idea. In the end of the book, Willy starts to realize that Biff might be correct after all after Willy was fired from his job and decides to commit suicide as a result to get insurance money for Biff to start a business. Willy’s unshakeable pride in this belief, also called “The American Dream”, ultimately led to his demise and most importantly his death. In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller uses an illusional tone, repetition, and idiomatic phrases to exemplify the idea that having excessive pride in a certain belief is going to ultimately lead to a person’s demise. Arthur Miller uses an illusive tone throughout the story when Willy is discussing the “success” he had in his past. Although this tone makes it seem like Willy is being treated unjustly because of his previous successes that is not necessarily true. The quote, “...-in 1928 I had a big year. I averaged a hundred and seventy dollars a week in commissions (Miller 82)”, shows how Willy’s belief that he has worked and accomplished too much to be fired by Howard. The statement Willy makes is actually false. In reality he was never this successful and in return shows that he is not that much worth to the firm. This creates an illusive tone because it shows a deceptive memory that was untrue and makes it seem like Willy is being unfairly treated, but in reality is just showing that Willy has too much pride in himself to the point that he remembers things that are untrue, thus alluding back to the purpose that having too much pride in a belief is going to ultimately lead to their demise. Another way Miller shows Willy’s excessive pride is when Willy tries to emphasize the wonder of America by saying, “...and that’s the wonder, the wonder of
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