Willie Loman’s Corrupted View of the American Dream in Death of a Salesman

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What is the American Dream? Is it fame? Is it fortune? President Franklin
Roosevelt explained the American Dream as freedom of speech, freedom of
religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. (AAC) I think that the
American Dream is different for everyone. It is simply the urge for a better life.
The American Dream is still valid but is totally different from what it used to be.

For the early immigrants the American Dream was a better life not with
material goods, but by freedom. Freedom to worship whoever they want.
Freedom to say whatever they want without fear of being arrested or shot. (AAC)
This Dream stayed with America untill the 1900’s. That’s when things started to
change. Norman Rockwell was a famous artist
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Arthur Miller does a great job illustrating the new, corrupted American
Dream in his play “Death of a Salesman.” Arthur Miller shows us that the
American Dream is valid, but those who hope to substitute popularity and lucky
breaks for hard work are likely to fail. Miller does this by using characters such
as Willy Lowman who can’t achieve his American Dream of becoming rich and
famous.

In Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman makes two grave mistakes
while trying to achieve his American Dream. Willy grew up believing that being
"well-liked" was important to becoming a success. (Death, Homewok hotline) He
believed that being well-liked could help you charm your boss and open doors in
the business world. (Garrison) A perfect example is on page 64 when Willy is
preparing Biff for a job interview with Oliver. He says “Don’t wear a sport jacket
and slacks when u see Oliver. Wear a business suit, and talk as little as
possible, and don’t crack any jokes.” (Miller, Death of a Salesman) This just
shows how worried he is about being accepted. I think this is what caused Willy
to fail. He worked his hardest trying to suck up to people and become popular
when he should have just worked harder at his job.

Miller also uses Charlies son Bernard to contrast Willie’s thoughts and
help show that anyone can achieve their American Dream. Willy thinks Bernard
is a physically…