The American Dream : The Darkness Of The American Dream

Decent Essays

Research conducted by Sandra L. Hanson and John Zogby concerning shifting attitudes toward the American Dream states, “lack of thrift, effort, ability, motivation, and self-control are the most popular explanations for poverty among Americans” (Hanson 571). Such explanations demonstrate the growing issues that help to create the darkness of the American Dream. In placing such an emphasis on achieving success, the American Dream belittles those unable to achieve it and allows no room for failure. Though some individuals may work hard their entire lives, they may never find the material success that others such as Ben or Charley do. Even in the case of characters who have worked their entire life, such as Willy, the lack of tangible, material success creates a false idea that they did not do enough or did not work hard enough. Concerning Willy’s career and life, Ben states, “What are you building? Lay your hand on it. Where is it?” (Miller 1271). This statement pushes the misconstrued idea that whatever success one has achieved needs to be tangible and seen, which is not always the case. It can be argued that by the end of his life, Willy had found success. Linda’s proclamation that they were “free and clear” after having finally paid off the mortgage furthers this argument (Miller 1298). Out of debt, and with the comfort of a devoted wife and loving sons, Willy had achieved a life that many can only dream. However, because he and others do not recognize love and happiness as

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