Willy Loman And The American Dream

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From its birth, American culture has clung to the idea that anyone, of any class or origin, can achieve greatness through the efforts of their hard work. The idea itself, referred to most commonly as the American Dream, has been subject to thorough examination and thought throughout the decades via a variety of different platforms. Arthur Miller’s 1949 play Death of a Salesman is one such example, as the central focus of the play revolves around the dreams of its characters, unveiling each of their distinctive ideas concerning what success and the American Dream entails. While a variety of characters seemingly do find success in the American Dream, characters that do not are given a platform that allows readers to understand their perspective and struggles. Through examination of the play’s main character, and the characters that play a significant role in his life, Death of a Salesman clarifies the explicit, yet unspoken truth concerning the great American Dream and brings its dark side to light.
While all characters serve great importance in Death of a Salesman, no character is as important in demonstrating the dark truths of the American Dream as the leading man who refuses to accept them, Willy Loman. It becomes explicitly clear that Willy places great faith in the American Dream, as seen through his dialogue and actions. However, such dialogue and actions likewise emphasize how ill-construed and detrimental such beliefs can be under the materialistic society in which
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