“A half century after it was written, Death of a Salesman remains a powerful drama. Its indictment of fundamental American values and the American Dream of material success may seem somewhat tame in today’s age of constant national and individual self-analysis and criticism, but its challenge was quite radical for its time” –SparkNotes
American Literature has been said to be timeless and relatable with its use of “American values and the American Dream of material success.” American Literature reflects the differences between respect between the upper and lower class. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman contribute to the meaning of American literature, with the incorporation of the American dream and female characters. In the desperate chase for the American dream, one can become corrupted and egocentric. The aspects of the novel The Great Gatsby and the play Death of a Salesman demonstrate the slow emotional and social downfall of the protagonists Jay Gatsby and Willy Loman with reference to the American dream and female characters such as Daisy Buchanan and Linda Loman. Both protagonists illustrate the notion of individual sacrifice in order to pursue the American dream.
In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby works to obtain the luxurious components of life. To Gatsby, the American dream consists of financial success and an upper position in society. He spends most of his life trying to achieve the significant, upper social class. He has an outstanding house, a magnificent car, and the best parties in the town. Americans tend to respect the upper class the most because of their high education, luxurious assets, and wealth. Gatsby gained respect after he became rich and prominent in society. Gatsby’s position in society led to the rumors created by other shallow and oblivious people. “I don't think its so much that, argued Lucille skeptically, it's more that he was a German spy during the war" (Fitzgerald 48). Respect is displayed among the people because none of them confronted Gatsby about the truth. His wealth and mysterious persona defined his social identity because he was known to have the most luxurious parties, but the guests never saw him.
However, Gatsby is not satisfied with what he has. He expresses a deep interest in the married Daisy Buchanan. Greed is a frequent theme in American literature. Greed is further supported by Gatsby’s want of Daisy. Gatsby is willing to risk everything he owns in order to be with Daisy. This proposition could be viewed as affectionate or destructive. It is affectionate in a sense that it is all done for love and destructive in a way that it could eradicate a marriage. Willy Loman struggles to live the American dream and isolates his ideals and values in the attempt. Willy, an aging unsuccessful salesman, is identified as the lower-working class and only dreams of becoming higher. He does not believe in hard work and effort; he depends on being well liked by...