Life of Pi

1276 Words6 Pages
“The relationship between an individual and his or her society is responsible for the sacrifices he or she makes.” Discuss this statement making close reference to Death of a Salesman and American Beauty. Ideas and qualities of acceptable standards that is considered worthwhile in society, pressures the relationship between an individual and his or her society due to the risk of social rejection. By accepting these social norms the individual is forced into the pursuit of the American Dream of that context whilst the rejection of the American Dream also leads to social rejection. Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman looks at the notion of the American Dream and the consequences one faces by valuing and devaluing social certain…show more content…
Money and success brought only superficial happiness and this was usually accompanied by corruption and spiritual desolation, leaving people with little personal fulfilment and the realisation that the Dream was false. The post-Depression context in Death of a Salesman was still a patriarchal society with social rules of how males and females should behave. Willy’s and the society’s perception on males is to be the breadwinner, “a man who makes an appearance...creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead”. The repetition of “man” highlights Willy’s aspirations and intense pressure to be the breadwinner cumulating the image of his ideal male. Since Willy is unable to become the breadwinner thus preventing success to enter the family and unable to achieve the American Dream, he is unable to be happy. This is contrasted with Lester Burnham in American Beauty who has outwardly achieved the Dream. However, is not happy and the close up shot of Lester sleeping in the back seat of the car highlights his feeling of sedation resulting to his lack of motivation to do anything. By pursuing the dreams of an adolescent, Lester searches for personal happiness and sacrifices his job at the advertisement firm for a job with the least amount of responsibility and more importantly, sacrificed his relationships with his family. Thus the lack of personal happiness that the American Dream supposedly guaranteed resulted to the death of Willy Loman and

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