The American Dream in Death of a Salesman Essay

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"The American Dream" is based on the 'Declaration of Independence´: 'We believe that all men are born with these inalienable rights - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.´ (Thomas Jefferson, 1776). This 'dream´ consists of a genuine and determined belief that in America, all things are possible to all men, regardless of birth or wealth; you work hard enough you will achieve anything. However, Miller says people have been 'ultimately misguided´. The origins of the American Dream seem to have been rooted in the pioneering mentality of the 18th and 19th century immigrants, most of whom came to America because of a promise of a new and better life. In particular, the opportunity to own …show more content…
'I´m the New England man. I´m vital in New England.´ 'Never leave a job until your sixty.´ Willy´s quotes above shows that he is insecure, and is not the successful businessman he says he is. Miller based Willy´s character on his own uncle, Manny Newman. Miller said, 'That homely, ridiculous little man had after all never ceased to struggle for a certain victory, the only kind open to him in this

society - selling to achieve his lost self as a man with his name and his sons´ name on a business of his own.´ This explains exactly what he had in mind for Willy to be - as he was, 'trying to achieve his lost self´. The things that are meant to happen in business are success, wealth and esteem. This is what Ben has achieved and done. Miller stressed his success and material reward in Ben. He does this by Ben repeating himself a lot, ' I walked into the jungle, and when I came out I was rich.´ But Ben also has emptiness in spite of his success. In the eyes of the audience, he has no real happiness. When Dave Singleman was mentioned, by Willy when he was trying to tell Howard what being a salesman used to be like, we only have Willy´s evidence, as all we know, this man maybe maid up in Willy´s head. But this man is a huge icon for Willy to look up to. 'He was eighty-four years old, and he´d drummed merchandise in
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