The American Dream in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

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The struggle for financial security and success has always been prominent in the American culture. The idea of the American dream captures the hearts of so many, yet leaves almost all of them enslaved in the endless economic struggle to achieve high status, wealth, and a house with a white picket fence. In Arthur Miller's, Death of a Salesman, we see how difficult it is for Willy Loman and his sons to achieve this so called American dream. In Lorraine Hansberry's, A Raisin in the Sun, she examines an African-American family's struggle to break out of the poverty that is preventing them from achieving some sort of financial stability, or in other words the American dream. Both plays explore the desire for wealth, driving forces that…show more content…
I drive a man around in his limousine and I say, "yes, sir; no, sir; very good, sir; shall I take the Drive, sir?" Mama, that ain’t no kind of job…that ain’t nothing at all (Hansberry pg.73).” When considering Willy’s circumstance, he insists that he is crucial to the company he works for, “if old man Wagner was alive I’d a been in charge of New York now (Miller pg. 4)” and that he should be a leader by now rather than simply being an employee. These quotes exemplify the idea that believing you deserve better than you currently have is a powerful force that encourages the struggle for the American dream. A final major similarity between the two plays is the fact that both of the men face prejudice for things that they cannot control. For Walter, a prejudice exists because of his skin color. He dreams of having the same opportunities as the white men and in this quote he expresses that to his mother “Mama – sometimes when I’m downtown, I pass them cool-quiet-looking restaurants where them white boys are sitting back and talking ‘bout things…sitting there turning deals worth millions of dollars (Hansberry pg. 74).” Death of a Salesman only features white characters, however, a different type of prejudice is shown in the play. Because Willy is much older now, he doesn’t feel like he possess the energy or the capacity to continue making long trips. When this conclusion leads Willy to be fired, he pleads with Howard saying, "You can't eat the
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