Effects Of The American Dream On Relationships And Families Affected By Thomas Miller 's ' The Hotel Scene '

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Miller develops the relationship of Biff and Willy by exploring the effects of the American Dream on relationships and families affected by it. Particularly in the hotel scene, Miller explores the pressure to conform and to seek acceptance by others in order to meet society’s demands.

Miller uses the loss of respect by Biff to show the negative effects of replacing family oriented ideals with consumerism to get acceptance from others. Miller does this with the use of the motif of the stockings. Earlier in the play, Linda is seen mending stockings as they are too expensive to buy, Miller uses the stockings to signify Linda and Willy’s family. The effect of the stockings is to show Willy giving away his family in search of approval from
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Miller also uses the hotel scene to illustrate to the reader the negative effects of trying to get the American Dream by exploring the consumerist nature. For example, Willy believes that Biff will believe his excuses about The Woman being a buyer and that he can sell Biff lies. Miller shows this by Willy’s broken speech and the ineffectiveness of his words while trying to justify himself to Biff . The effect of this is showing that Biff has seen beneath Willy’s facade which he has built up. “You don’t imagine -”, the hyphen indicates that Willy can’t think of any more excuses and he realises the futility of them and so he results to trying to act like Biff’s friend, blissfully unaware that Biff has changed as Willy’s entire persona that he built for himself as a great salesman and family man has just been destroyed. In addition to this, Willy’s understanding of the American Dream is that professional success is the only way to be happy, this is shown earlier in the play when Willy constantly wants to be up to date with the current trends so that he appears to be successful to others despite him not really wanting these material goods. Miller shows this through dialogue earlier, “Chevrolet, Linda, is the greatest car ever built.”, this shows Willy’s opinion on the car and that it is a great proof of success, this
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