Illusion of the American Dream in Death of a Salesman and The Glass Menagerie

756 Words 4 Pages
The American Dream is what all Americans strive to achieve. It is the illusion of prosperity and happiness. The American Dream consists of three different elements, money, sex, and power. The plays “Death of a Salesman” and “The Glass Menagerie” are about families who strive to achieve the American Dream. These plays are a lot alike and they have more similarities than differences.

In America, money can get you many places in society. In both plays, money plays an essential element. In “The Glass Menagerie,” Amanda is always concerned about Laura getting a job or marrying someone whom can support her. When Amanda realizes that Laura quit going to business school, she becomes very distressed. “What are we going to do, what is going to
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But he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid.” Willy liked to imagine that he was prosperous, and that his sons would be prosperous.

Sex is another element of the American Dream. The characters in both plays have their fantasies and dreams about love. They are dreamers who can slip into, and out of reality. In “The Glass Menagerie” Laura is in love with a person that she knew in high school. She talked to him some in high school, but not a lot. Her crush for him lasted long after high school. She says, “Yes. I liked one once. I came across his picture a while ago.” Once he comes to her house for dinner, she is quite around him, and she is disappointed when she finds out that he is engaged. In “Death on a Salesman,” Willy searches for love, but does not realize what he has. He has a loving family, and wife who cares a lot about him. He does not recognize their love, and has to run off and have an affair with a woman. When Biff finds out about the affair, he finally realizes that he fails in business because his father had him stuck on the myth of the American Dream.

Furthermore, having power is also very important for achieving the American Dream. In “The Glass Menagerie,” Amanda has to be in control of everything. She likes telling her son and daughter what they should be doing. She recurrently reminds Tom about how important his job is for the security of the family. She says, “What right have you got…