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Dreams In Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller

1086 words - 5 pages

What is a man, but, pieces of limbs made into a body and a mind, full of thoughts, beliefs, and dreams - dreams that urges one to try and convinces one to live. What if the dream, the reason to live, leads one to a futile life? In the Death of a Salesman, by playwright Arthur Miller, Willy the main character slowly dies as his dreams demise. In this play, one can discern how people surrounding Willy influenced his dreams and how his dreams influenced himself and his sons’ lives. This is best exemplified by the influence he received from his father, a famous salesman and his wife, who all aided in constructing his life to the wrong dreams and principles, and consequently destructing his sons’ future.
Family and people surrounding Willy Loman influenced his dreams and motives in life. Willy’s perception about life was carved by his father as he absconded him at the age of four for the pursuit of wealth, which indirectly taught Willy that materialistic gain is a primacy in one’s life and cost Willy a great deal of emotional distress as he says “dad left when I was such a baby and I never had a chance to talk to him and I still feel—kind of temporary about myself” (36). The tremendous amount of Willy’s father’s influence that he has had on his son is confirmed through the presence of his flute sound in Willy’s imagination even to this day. Having materialism as the primary goal in life, Willy meets Dave Singleman, a famous salesman, whom becomes an icon for Willy as he protrudes a very positive and elegant picture of being wealthy. Based on Singleman’s fame and luxurious living at the age of eighty four, Willy superficially decides salesman as his career. However, not knowing how one achieves wealth, he assumes incorrectly that one becomes rich based on the image one portrays “be liked and you’ll never want” (21). As he carried on with his mistaken principles, the closest person to him, Linda, although knowing Willy’s erroneous ideals, was mute to his failure. As a woman of the 1940’s, his wife was portrayed just as that: a woman of the 1940’s. Instead, she encouraged him to continue on with his dreams and thus, consequently aiding his failure. Receiving incorrect life lessons from his father, as well as the inability of his wife to influence him towards the right direction, shaped Willy’s naïve dream of becoming a person, whom he was not destined to become.
The overwhelming dream of gaining materialistic success blinds Willy to a point that he fails to see his real interests. Marginalizing his actual desires which include operating with hands, he struggles to make a living with his iniquitous dreams of being a salesman. Perhaps, if he opened himself to his real desires he could have “made it big” as Biff says “there’s more of him in that front stoop than in all the sales he ever made” (103). In fact Willy longs for a simpler lifestyle as he says to Linda “you wait, kid, before it’s all over we’re gonna get a little place out in the country,...

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