"Death Of A Salesman Goes Beyond Oversimplified Social Protest ... Because It Concerns The Fundemental Qeustion: What Does It Mean To Be Satisfied In One's Existence?" (Micheal C. Roudane) Discuss.

1941 words - 8 pages

"The American dream has been a dream of being able to grow to fullest development."Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman can be seen as an eulogy of a dreamer, which depicts one man's tragic life and death as he tries to bring his family into grace.The word "dream" can suggest something wonderful to look forward to achieving, or, it may imply that something is only a dream, something that is impossible to achieve. We can see Miller believes "dream" to mean the latter of these interpretations when we see the character Howard in Death of a Salesman. It is implied through the way that he disregards Willy's past loyalty to his company, that he has only achieved his dream of success through moral compromises, and therefore, that few achieve the dream without doing this aswell.The American society however, seems to support the first definition of the word "dream". Willy supports this idea and relies on being "well-liked" in order to succeed, rather than working hard and having ability. So convinced is Willy of the rightness of this doctrine, that he raises his sons by it and, without intending to, he subtly undermines their moral character, turning one into a lecher and the other into a "bum" and a thief. Thus Miller demonstrates how such great self-confidence that the American Dream can produce, can have adverse effects on young people.Throughout the play Willy Loman's lack of confidence and uncertainty in what he wants are qualities which prevent him from achieving his dream. Willy shows this weakness while observing himself in a mirror. He focuses completely on what he deems as negative qualities in his personality and physical appearance. But Willy's false pride is another factor that contributes to his pursuit of a prosperity: unobtainable to him as a salesman. What Willy Loman views as pride is, in reality, his self-deprivation. By ignoring what he is best fitted to do Willy does not allow himself happiness or the opportunity for triumph.Willy Loman does not obtain the skills required to be a successful salesman or father. Pathetically, he does not realize the limits of his capabilities and is, therefore, unable to assess realistic possibilities of victory. willy's illogical definition of success causes him to wander through life trying to achieve the impossible. This makes him a pathetic character because there is never any chance for him to rise above and become victorious. Unrealistic dreams, which are the product of a refusal to honestly acknowledge his abilities, deter any triumph that Willy may have the ability to achieve.Willy is so consumed with the idea of 'the american dream', he never took a moment to realize that he couldn't capture that fantasy. He was so consumed that it caused him to suffer from crippling self-delusion. In the beginning of the play, Willy was in a delirium; he couldn't even extinguish reality from his fantasy world. "Biff is a lazy bum ... Biff Loman is lost. In the greatest country in the world a young man with...

Find Another Essay On "Death of a salesman goes beyond oversimplified social protest ... because it concerns the fundemental qeustion: what does it mean to be satisfied in one's existence?" (Micheal C. Roudane) - Discuss.

"What Does It Mean To Be A Morally Responsible Teacher In A Social And Political Society"

555 words - 2 pages "WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A MORALLY RESPONSIBLETEACHER IN A SOCIAL AND POLITICAL DEMOCRACY?" Through my entire life I have always enjoyed History. While attending high school my interest for history grew dramatically after taking such classes like American and World History. As I studied history in high school I often times noticed that history would often times repeat itself. I thought this was very important, but as I went on

What Does Said Mean By Orientalism? Discuss Any Aspect Of Said's Work Orientalism,That You Find Most Appealing, And Give Your Own Insights On The Issue.

1518 words - 6 pages especially.He talks and writes about Orientalism in social, economical, educational, cultural and other aspects. He says that the specialists prefer not using the term Orientalism because it reminds them of colonialism times and that is not the right term to be used. "It is true that the term Orientalism is less preferred by specialists today, both because it is too vague and general and because it connotes the high-handed executive attitude of nineteenth

How does Miller use the father-son relationships to question the values of 1940's America? ("Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller)

2573 words - 10 pages the social crimes but also certain fundamental private issues. The issue thus of the crime is more than meets the eye. It represents the idea that by following Willy's commands and orders, one's identity could be stolen from, as well as the fact that there could be a loss of self-worth and a loss of responsibility for family, for example, as does occur in this play with Willy. Biff and Happy appear to be inheritors of Willy's sins of the past

How does 'The Death of a Salesman' by Arthur Miller and 'Better Days' by Bruce Springsteen position us to see the American Dream?

1328 words - 5 pages will happen to him. Just like in Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is always expecting that something good will happen to him; he will achieve success soon because he deserves it.With the lines 'Well I took a piss at fortune's sweet kiss, it's like eatin' caviar and dirt,' the writer seems to intimate that the character the song speaks of, took one stab at trying to make it and found it a bittersweet experience. Therefore, he then gave it up and

What does it mean to be American?

661 words - 3 pages successful or not. People have the freedom to do as they want to do, and say what they want to say. Therefore, being an American means you have "the quality or state of being free." As Andrew Jackson says, "Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure is to betray it." Freedom is not something that should be taken for granted. For a person to be a true American, they also must have pride in their

What Does it Mean To Be Human?

1389 words - 6 pages "I'm only Human," is a response everyone hears when someone makes a mistake. Does that mean humans are in heritably fallible? Or are we fallible because of society? In Mexico it is polite to greet someone by kissing them on the cheek, in the United States it is considered an invasion of personal space. Personal traits make up society, nevertheless there are characteristics that is common throughout all of our species. People's identity is

"Death of a Salesman" Is Willy a tragic hero? Does he have a tragic flaw? discussion

1225 words - 5 pages his business. Yet, the thoughts of worthlessness, especially in his family'seyes, are so overwhelming that with false pride he attempts to create an illusion ofsuccess that is really transparent, evoking pity in spite of his lack of character as aparent, husband, or salesman.In a modern sense, Willie fits the role as tragic hero better than a king or noblemancould because his character is so affecting. I can relate to his dreams, loss of dreams,struggle for success, and his limitations better than I could relate to nobility. His place inthe world is that of a working class, which most Americans fit into, but it is his strugglesand fears he transcends all social barriers.

What does it mean to be a citizen?

1923 words - 8 pages 1. What does it mean to be a citizen?The term "Citizen" is defined in the compact Macquarie Dictionary as, "a member, native or naturalised, of state or nation". This paper intends to question what it is that constitutes a member or citizen, of state or nation. Many concepts and theories are promoted by political theorists and practitioners alike that are varied and many in response to defining a "citizen". The expanse of these theories ranges

What does it Mean to be a Man?

978 words - 4 pages What does it mean to be a man? To many people, it means engaging in physically demanding activities, such as playing sports or manual labor. Just the word "masculine" conjures up images of action movies, explosions, and fearless heroes whose ability to make jokes in dangerous situations borders on sociopathy. But by definition alone, "masculine" simply means "of or like men or boys; male." "Machismo," on the other hand, is defines as "overly

What Does It Mean to Be a Single Parent?

2034 words - 8 pages What does it mean to be a single parent? Many have his or her own opinion about what it means to be a single parent, but being a single parent means that it is now the job of one parent to be both mother and father to their children. Many debate on how children in single parent homes are affected. Some believe that children in single parent households are more at risk than children in a two parent households, but that outcome may vary

American Romanticism: What does it mean to be a Citizen?

1043 words - 4 pages What does it mean to be a citizen? Prejudice has always been a problem in history. As depicted in 19th century literature, the Native Americans and slaves endured hardship acquiring human rights as well as citizenship. For example, Elias Boudinot's "An Address to the Whites", Douglass' "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" and a children's ABC poem, "To Our Little Readers". In all of these pieces, it depicts how these particular races were

Similar Essays

"Setting Is An Important Element In A Play, Because It Can Contribute Economically To The Revelation Of Character. Discuss This In Death Of A Salesman

751 words - 3 pages Arthur Miller wrote death of a salesman in 1949 which is the same time period which this international recognized play was also set in the same time in which he wrote it in. It was considered one of America's first great tragedies dealing with the tourmmentful conflicts with in a typical family. This particular setting holds a great importance to explaining the protagonist's, Willy Loman actions, behaviour and atmosphere.During the 1940s America

Discuss The Representation Of Masculinities In Death Of A Salesman.

1504 words - 6 pages pursuit of happiness."(Malone, 28)However, Willy is too caught up in this masculine dream and it does not succeed as he wishes. He tries to live up to it and prove himself by working as a successful salesman, but he does not even come close to it. The play examines the cost of blind faith in the American Dream and how a man cannot escape his own pattern of the past. His sons, Biff and Happy, cannot get away from the pattern Willy imposes on them

Discuss The Importance Of Dreams In The Play 'death Of A Salesman'

1023 words - 4 pages 'Death of a Salesman' focusing in particular on the prominent theme of the American Dream."Death of a Salesman" strongly presents some of the ideology of the American Dream. Willy Loman himself strongly believes that to achieve complete satisfaction in life, a man must be popular, successful and affluent. Throughout the play, Willy constantly talks of owning his 'own business'. Willy feels that he is an inadequate person if he is not 'well liked' or

Because I C Ould Not Stop Death

1222 words - 5 pages Beauty" expands the symbolism immeasurably beyond the moldy receptacle of an underground grave, to a hospitable dwelling. Full Text (1077 words) Copyright HELDREF PUBLICATIONS Spring 2000 Because I could not stop for Death He kindly stopped for me The Carriage held but just Ourselves And Immortality. We slowly drove-He knew no haste And I had put away My labor and my leisure too, For His Civility We passed the School, where