This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The "Falseness" Of The American Dream In Arthur Miller's Writing

3376 words - 14 pages

Many associate the American Dream with the years following World War II. One sees the 1950's as movies and books portray them; a happy-go-lucky time where every household has two-point-five children, a dog, and a picket fence around their house. Many families strive and work all their lives to fulfill their American Dream, but when reality sets in, they end up failing and their American Dream turns into a nightmare: the American Reality. The origins of the American Dream seem to have been rooted in the pioneering mentality of the 18th and 19th century immigrants, most of who came to America because of a promise of a new and better life. In particular, one came to America to own land of their own. But land 'ran out' and cities developed and financial situations changed quickly, meaning that this 'American Dream' changed from being a potential reality, into being a dream, like the name implies. Most of Miller's plays are directly or indirectly about the American Dream, conveying his opinion that ultimately this dream was not going to succeed as many wished it would. Arthur Miller's plays All My Sons and A View from the Bridge use situations to show the "falseness" and disintegration of the American Dream in post-World War II times.The disintegration of the American Dream after World War II is portrayed by Arthur Miller in A View from the Bridge when families turn on each other to protect themselves. Eddie, like Joe in All My Sons, believes that achieving the American Dreamis being successful financial and protecting one's family. Eddie believes that his wife's cousins who are living with him, illegal immigrant from Italy, are a threat to his niece,Catherine, and attempts to remove them from his life. The turning point of the play is when Eddie reports Marco and Rodolfo to the police. "I'm just around the neighborhood, that's all" (66, A View from the Bridge, Arthur Miller). Eddie makes the police think he is just a random neighbor of the immigrants, when in truth he is turning in his own family. Eddie turning in his own family to immigration shows how the American Dream is false, because no matter what one tries to do, they may not succeed in America because of matters out of their hands. Rodolfo tends to be pessimistic and "is inclined to remember the ruin in things, perhaps because [he] was born in Italy" (26, Miller). Rodolfo has a negative outlook on his old county, but he views America as a place of the American Dream which will let him lead a wonderful life free of ruin. Miller also shows his disillusionment in the American Dream by having Eddie look down upon society. Eddie tells his nice "Just remember, kid, you can quicker get back a million dollars that was stole than a word you gave away" (18, Miller). Eddie believes that in America one must keep his wits about him and never say anything one would not want the world to know. To the majority of the people in the Red Hook community, where Eddie lives, Italy represents homeland, origin and...

Find Another Essay On The "Falseness" of the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Writing

"Willy Loman's Idealistic American Dream and the Victimization that Ensues"... in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman"

985 words - 4 pages Who does not want to live the perfect life, the American Dream? Throughout Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is in pursuit of this Dream. Willy focuses on the idealistic American dream his entire life, associating it with financial success, an excellent reputation and being well liked. He makes victims of his wife and of his sons by subjecting them to mistreatment and deprivation of a strong male role model. According to the

Arthur Miller's Purpose for Writing The Crucible

895 words - 4 pages Parallels between Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, and his article Why I wrote the Crucible, can easily support Miller’s reasons for writing this classic play. Miller’s purpose in writing both the play and the article was to emphasize the similarities between the 1692 witch hunt and the 1950’s Red Scare. Miller simply wanted to convey the message of fear over reason, express himself in a new language of old English, to warn of mass hysteria

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, uses textual references to show Miller's opinion that the American dream is difficult or impossible in today's capitalistic society

922 words - 4 pages In today's capitalist economy, many strive for the same goal and while some are met with success, most are left with nothing but shattered dreams and low wages. Arthur Miller wrote his play "Death of a Salesman" as a satire on the American Dream and what he saw as the futile pursuit and false ideals that accompanied the dream. Through Willy Loman's treatment of his friends and family, his tendency to lie, and his perception of people around him

Mythical American Dream Challenged in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

988 words - 4 pages Mythical American Dream Challenged in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman      Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman challenges the American dream. Before the Depression, an optimistic America offered the alluring promise of success and riches. Willy Loman suffers from his disenchantment with the American dream, for it fails him and his son. In some ways, Willy and Biff seem trapped in a transitional period of American history. Willy, now

Important Writing Elements Used in Arthur Miller's Play, Death of a Salesman

786 words - 3 pages In the play Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller uses an old style of reality that deals with emotional and financial struggles. These struggles are viewed throughout the whole play. The play was written around the 1940s, which was around the time of the Great Depression. This was a very difficult time in which a lot of people struggled just like the Loman family did in the play. Arthur Miller uses several elements in the play which are

The Falseness of Conjecture

1616 words - 7 pages The intended nature of human beings is social, life without relationships is one of unbearable loneliness that can cause people to spiral out of control and wither. Even one of the most lone adventurers, Chris McCandless, still made connections and relationships with others along his journey. In the 1990s Chris graduated from Emory University with multiple opportunities to live the “normal” life society had placed before him, but instead he

Arthur Miller's Dissatisfaction with the American People Expressed in Three of His Major Works

2104 words - 9 pages dealing with issues. After the Second World War, people had the opinion that play writer Arthur Miller transferred the theater. The work Miller created was influenced by the worldly depression and the war that started after. Arthur Miller “tapped into a sense of dissatisfaction and unrest within the greater American people; his probing dramas proved to be both the conscience and redemption of the times; allowing people an honest view of the

The Presence of Pride in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

671 words - 3 pages The Presence of Pride in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"In Miller's "The Crucible" the pride of the people of Salem leads to a massacre of innocent lives. Pride is delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship. One of the main characters, John Proctor, has pride in his beliefs of purifying the Church of England. His wife, Elizabeth, has pride in her ability to use the trials as an ultimate revenge against Abigail Williams

The Role of Vengeance in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

1201 words - 5 pages Throughout the endurance of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, vengeance plays a prominent role in the actions and fates of various characters. In many ways, vengeance fuels the need for retaliation. Disputes among neighbors has bred hatred and then witch trials brought out the vindictiveness of Salem's population. This leads to the deaths of many citizens in Salem by false accusations to the court. Citizens of Salem were utilizing the court system

The Vulnerability of the American Dream in The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

1103 words - 5 pages Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, is a play that illustrated the realistic life of being an American and the vulnerability of an American Dream. It is a play that blended realism and expressionism in order to demonstrate the struggles and failures of Willy Loman. It showed Willy’s illusion of an American Dream, and the harsh reality shattering his dream into pieces. The play displayed Willy’s dreamlike inner world and the cruel realities of

Marriage of John and Elizabeth in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

1020 words - 4 pages Marriage of John and Elizabeth in Arthur Miller's The Crucible John Proctor shows many strengths and weaknesses throughout The Crucible. He is honest, upright and blunt-spoken. His manliness acts a great strength, but also as a weakness, for this is what led him to his affair with Abigail. The guilt he feels over this contributes to his imprisonment and death as it prevents him from speaking out soon enough

Similar Essays

The American Dream In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

819 words - 3 pages The American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman The American Dream ~ for many, it is the unlocked door that leads to happiness.  It is the hope for a future filled with success and fortune.  Although most people have a similar idea of what the American Dream is, they may have different ideas on how to achieve it.  For Willy Loman, a struggling salesman, achieving this dream would be a major accomplishment.  Unfortunately, his

Destruction Of The American Dream In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

824 words - 3 pages Destruction of the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of A Salesman A white picket fence surrounds the tangible icons of the American Dreams in the middle 1900's: a mortgage, an automobile, a kitchen appliance paid for on the monthly - installment - plan, and a silver trophy representative of high school football triumph. A pathetic tale examining the consequences of man's harmartias, Arthur Miller's "Death of A Salesman" satisfies

Myths Of The American Dream Exposed In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

841 words - 3 pages Myths of the American Dream Exposed in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman   Willy Loman, the lead character of Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman, believes in "the myths of the capitalistic society"(DiYanni 412). This essay will examine the impact of the capitalistic myths on Willy Lowman.             Willy believes in the myth that popularity and physical appearance are the keys that unlock the door to the “American Dream”. We are

The American Dream In Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun And Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

2733 words - 11 pages possessions are what it takes to be happy. The American dream is to be rich. A Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry, and Death of a Salesman, written by Arthur Miller, both address the American Dream. Both plays discuss the desire for wealth and how the desire may lead to one’s downfall. However, each play is very different in addressing issues such as race and feminism. A Raisin in the Sun and Death of a Salesman have the same