Salesman American Dream

1537 Words7 Pages
Many immigrants come to the United States in search of the American Dream, an idea that one can start from the bottom of the employment food chain in hopes to become successful and live a comfortable life, despite what your background may have been. In The Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller portrays this idea of the American Dream through an everyday, run-of-the-mill character, Willy Loman. While he did not immigrate to America, he still chases the American Dream ideal. He finds himself in dire need of financial support, and his job is unable to supply him with the amount that he needs. Willy faces several conflicts, both external and internal, throughout the play, and these conflicts affect his relationship with other characters, specifically…show more content…
He is not very good at his job, and therefore does not make much money. Willy goes to his boss, Howard, and requests that he be made a non-travelling salesman with a salary of about $65 per week. Howard shushes him, and Willy continues to lower his salary request. Willy recalls an elderly salesman who never left his hotel room, Dave Singleman. Singleman was very successful and died the “death of a salesman,” hundreds of both buyers and fellow salesmen attended his funeral, and that is the dream that Willy Loman strives to achieve. He states, “I realized that selling was the greatest career a man could want. ‘Cause what could be more satisfying than to be able to go, at the age of eighty-four, into twenty or thirty different cities, and pick up a phone, and be remembered and loved and helped by so many different people?” (Miller 57). Singleman lives the life that Willy Loman fantasizes about. He wants to be well-known for his success in the sales industry. However, while Willy is recalling this anecdote, Howard sees that he is growing distraught, and Howard no longer wants him to represent his company. Howard ultimately fires Willy and suggests that he seeks financial support from his sons; however, that role-reversal would serve as a shot at Loman’s pride because he, being the father, is supposed to provide financial support for his sons, and not the…show more content…
As for his physical appearance, he is a short man and describes himself as fat. He mentions that buyers often refer to him as “walrus” for his physical appearance and this clouds his judgement and ultimately results in the loss of his life. It has created a false self-image. According to Randi Kreger in her article “Behind the Façade: The ‘False Self’ of the Narcissist,” posted on Psychology Today, “This mask, which the narcissist thinks is real, hides the insecure and damaged part of [him] and chases way feelings of depression, abandonment, and shame. It protects [him] from painful feelings.” Willy Loman is aware that he is not very successful and refuses to come to terms with this. This has not only damaged himself, but also his relationships with his sons and his wife and his boss. Willy attempted to force his eldest son, Biff, to live the life that he wished he had lived
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