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Willie Loman’s Corrupted View Of The American Dream In Death Of A Salesman

1075 words - 4 pages

What is the American Dream? Is it fame? Is it fortune? President Franklin
Roosevelt explained the American Dream as freedom of speech, freedom of
religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. (AAC) I think that the
American Dream is different for everyone. It is simply the urge for a better life.
The American Dream is still valid but is totally different from what it used to be.

For the early immigrants the American Dream was a better life not with
material goods, but by freedom. Freedom to worship whoever they want.
Freedom to say whatever they want without fear of being arrested or shot. (AAC)
This Dream stayed with America untill the 1900’s. That’s when things started to
change. Norman Rockwell was a famous artist during 1910’s through the 1930’s.
Rockwell drew pictures of the American dream during his time. His art of the
American dream consisted of families having a great time, or of a happily
married couple. The American Dream was happiness with a family or
a loved one.

The ending of war caused the American Dream to completely changed. I
think it’s because we no longer had to worry about freedom, we filled the gap of
freedom with wealth.The American Dream is now to marry a beautiful wife, start
a family, and become rich. It’s turned into greed. Everyone’s dream is to become
just like Bill Gates. People no longer do their work because they enjoy it. They
do their work because of the money. A perfect example of this is pro baseball.
When Major League Baseball first started the players did it because they loved
the game and loved playing in front of the huge audiences. They got paid low
wages but still plated the game because they loved it. Major League players
these days complain because they’re not getting paid enough when they are
making millions of dollars a year. Kids set their goal to become a pro baseball
player so that they can earn millions of dollars too.

Arthur Miller does a great job illustrating the new, corrupted American
Dream in his play “Death of a Salesman.” Arthur Miller shows us that the
American Dream is valid, but those who hope to substitute popularity and lucky
breaks for hard work are likely to fail. Miller does this by using characters such
as Willy Lowman who can’t achieve his American Dream of becoming rich and
famous.

In Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman makes two grave mistakes
while trying to achieve his American Dream. Willy grew up believing that being
"well-liked" was important to becoming a success. (Death, Homewok hotline) He
believed that being well-liked could help you charm your boss and open doors in
the business world. (Garrison) A perfect example is on page 64 when Willy is
preparing Biff for a job interview with Oliver. He says “Don’t wear a sport jacket
and slacks when u see Oliver. Wear a business suit, and talk as little as
possible, and don’t crack any jokes.” (Miller, Death of a Salesman) This just
shows how worried he is...

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