Compare/Contrast Willy Loman (Death of a Salesman) and Walter Lee Younger (a Raisin in the Sun)

2823 Words Jun 12th, 2011 12 Pages
“May I never wake up from the American dream.” Carrie Latet describes the most sought after dream: the dream of a house surrounded by a white picket fence, the dream people work their entire lives for, the dream people fight wars for: the American dream. However, America’s rise to industrialism in the 19th and 20th centuries replaced this dream with the desire to get rich fast. This change led people to believe that it is possible, common even, to obtain wealth rapidly; yet this is not the case. Sometimes, when an individual is unable to acquire such extreme wealth, he create a sense of false reality for himself, his common sense is blurred, and he sees opportunities where there are none. Characters Walter Lee Younger and Willy Loman are …show more content…
I want them to know the kind of stock they spring from.” (48). This is ironic, because Willy doesn’t remember his father aside from his beard and his flute, so he would not know if his father would be someone to admire. Even though Willy does not have a job, he wants so badly to continue being a salesman that he still drives out to Boston and other cities, deluding his faithful wife, Linda Loman, and in part, himself, to think that he is going on important selling missions. Willy lies so convincingly that, when Ben proposes the idea of going to Alaska, a shocked Linda exclaims, “You’re well liked, and the boys love you, and someday – why, old man Wagner told him just the other day that if he keeps it up he’ll be a member of the firm . . .” (85). Linda is clearly oblivious to the fact that Willy is crestfallen and miserable. Willy even tries to prove to himself that he is happy, but the only true reason he remains a salesman is to gain the money he believes accompanies the job. Throughout Willy’s struggle, Charley, a FOIL to Willy, is constantly at Willy’s side helping him. Charley is Willy’s crutch, his reality check, and basically his only friend. While Willy fights to keep his family afloat, Charley has a steady job; while Willy manages his children’s lives, Charley leaves his only son, Bernard, to find his own path; while Willy loses his grip on reality, Charley has a firm grasp and a level head. Charley is the true example of the hard working, happy…