In Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Willy Loman pursues his dreams of success by being well-liked, manly, and rich but in reality he harms not only himself but others around him too. The dream only creates a goal, an ideal for oneself to escape towards and lacks consequences in reality. The American Dream is a destructive power in which one is bound towards an unrealistic dream to the point of no return, but it can be escaped by face reality head on, and accepting life’s consequences.
Determination to follow the American Dream can lead towards beyond the no return point. During Willy’s flashback to his sons, he recalled, “Because the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want” (21). Willy believes that his beliefs is the key to success. He assures that personality plays an important ...view middle of the document...
Naturally, Willy would follow Ben’s advice because he idolizes him and actually believes that his advice would lead to him to success. Feeling overconfident, Willy goes to Howard and demands an advance by saying, “Your father came to me the day you were born and asked me what I thought of the name of Howard” (59-60). Willy utilize his personality by being unfair and using cheap tactics to win the advance. Howard responds to Willy by replying, “I don’t you representing us. I’ve been meaning to tell you for a long time now” (63). Unfortunately, it was to no avail and he was fired. Because Willy prioritizes both Ben and his own beliefs, it costed him the dream to the point of no return to end.
The way to escape the dream is to face reality before getting caught in it. When Willy and Biff argue, Biff says, “I saw the things I love in this world…. Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be? What am I doing in an office making a contemptuous, begging fool of myself, when all I want is out there” (105). Biff is influenced by two different dreams — one that is working in the business world and one that involves working outdoors. He realizes that he does not fit and cannot be successful in the business world. As the fight continues, Biff says, “Pop! I’m a dime a dozen, and so are you!” (105), while Willy says “I am not a dime of dozen! I am Willy Loman, and you are Biff Loman!” (105). Biff acknowledges that he and Willy are just normal people just like everyone else but Willy does not believe that. He believes that he is special and a man above others. At the peak of Biff’s fury, he says, “Will you let me go, for Christ’s sake? Will you take that phony dream and burn it before something happens?” (105). Biff wants Willy to get rid of his phony dream because Willy’s dream isn’t what he wants to pursue in. Instead, he wants to pursue his own dream, a real dream, working outdoors on a ranch, with nature. Biff realizes that following Willy’s path is the wrong choice and to confront reality head on.
Death of a Salesman