"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 Webster's Dictionary a victim is one who is subjected to oppression, hardship or mistreatment. Willy puts far too much pressure on his elder son Biff, not enough on his younger son Happy, and he makes a "yes-woman" out of his doting wife Linda. Willy's ideas of the American Dream outweigh the realistic trials and tribulations that need to be overcome in order to achieve the Dream.The American Dream is one of success and Willy views success as being well liked. He wants Biff to be well liked and hence puts much pressure on him to be popular. During Willy's flashbacks to 1929, Willy encourages Biff to be a good football player rather than a good student. Willy pays so much attention to Biff and puts so much pressure on him to succeed and to be well liked that Biff does not have anything concrete (such as marks) as a backup. Willy believes that even though Bernard can get the best marks in school, that he will not survive in the business world because he is not well liked (Miller 33). Biff wants to live up to his father's dreams. He wants his dad to be proud of him. Before the football game at Ebbets Field, Biff promises "to break through for a touchdown," just for his dad (32). As a teenager, and right up until he catches Willy cheating, Biff does everything he can to get into Willy's good books. He is the star football player and popular enough to order his friends around: "Fellas! Everybody sweep out the furnace room!" (34). Then, all of a sudden, things change. After finding Willy and Miss Francis together, Biff comes to the conclusion that his father is not as important as he makes himself out to be: "he [Mr. Birnbaum] wouldn't listen to you [Willy]" (120). This is the turning point in Biff's life because he becomes a victim of Willy's actions. At this point, in a hotel room in Boston, Biff gives up on his life and the dream of success when he decides that he is "not going there [the University of Virginia]" (120). Willy has ruined his son's chances at getting a good education and a successful career.Willy puts so much emphasis on Biff's success, that he neglects Happy. As a result, Happy feels the need to follow in Willy's footsteps in order to gain the level of respect and attention from...

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

Willy Loman's Distorted Values in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

944 words - 4 pages Willy Loman's Distorted Values in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman     Willy Loman, the central character in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, is a man whose fall from the top of the capitalistic totem pole results in a resounding crash, both literally and metaphorically. As a man immersed in the memories of the past and controlled by his fears of the future, Willy Loman views himself as a victim of bad luck, bearing little blame for

Willy Loman, in the book "Death of a Salesman", by Arthur Miller, and his quest for the "American Dream."

675 words - 3 pages A Death of the American DreamThe American Dream is forever being chased, and never caught. Willy Loman, the main character, in A Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller chose to follow the American dream and lead the life it gave him. The American dream is the belief that through sheer hard work alone, any man can gain professional success and thus receive personal gain. The major flaw in this 'dream' is that it produces selfish individuals who

The American Dream in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun and Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

2733 words - 11 pages live their lives around material objects. However in Death of a Salesman, Willy takes his own life. Their family is obviously not as strong, as the Younger family is in A Raisin in the Sun. The reader does not get the sense that things are going to work out in Death of a Salesman, instead the feeling is more that misery will be coming for the next few years in that family. Both plays focus on achieving the “American dream” and how the desire can

Willy Loman, Redefining the Tragic Hero in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

1161 words - 5 pages The Crucible and All My Sons in which the main characters are somewhat like tragic heroes but lack the high standing. They are all just common people, which might lead to the idea that Arthur Miller tried to create a mold for an American tragic hero. This however, is not a topic relevant to this assignment. So overall, Willy Loman is not a tragic hero, but just an unlucky man destined to be the Low Man. Sources Field, B.S.  "Death of a

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

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

Is Willy Loman's suicide a completion of the American Dream?

766 words - 3 pages Willy Loman's interpretation of the American Dream is defined by a life that is composed of fortune and fame. In the Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman believes that being well liked and having a personal attractiveness, together, can bring success, money and many friends. Willy Loman's inability to live up to his own goals drives him to place expectations on his sons. When Willy realizes that his sons abandon him and his aspirations, he decides

Willy Loman as a Father in Arthur Miller's A Death of a Salesman

1298 words - 5 pages Willy Loman as a Father in Arthur Miller's A Death of a Salesman Modern society would condemn the parenting skills of Willy Loman, the father in Arthur Miller’s A Death of a Salesman, who imposes his dreams upon his two sons and preaches the value of popularity over integrity. As an unsuccessful salesman, Willy is unable to cope with his own shortcomings and valiantly attempts to find something to be hopeful for

Willy Loman as a Tragic Hero in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

1892 words - 8 pages Willy Loman as a Tragic Hero in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Should 'Willy Loman' of Arthur Millers classic, Death of a Salesman be regarded as a tragic hero, or merely a working-class, socially inadequate failure? Described by Miller as a "self-destructive, insecure anti-hero", it seems almost impossible for Loman to be what is known as a tragic hero in the 'classical' sense, but with the inclusion of other

Discusses Willy Loman as a tragic hero in Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman"

959 words - 4 pages way. Willy Lowman's technique in Arthur Miller's playDeath of a Salesman, leads to very severe consequences. Willy never reallydoes anything to help the situation, he just escapes into the past, whetherintentionally or not, to happier times were problems were scarce. He usesthis escape as if it were a narcotic, and as the play progresses, the readerlearns that it can be a dangerous drug, because of it's addictiveness andit's deadliness.The first

Willy Loman as the tragic hero of Arthur Miller's "The Death of a Salesman"

778 words - 3 pages tragedies. In Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman can be considered a tragic hero since his tremendous pride seen in many different situations, along with fate and external forces, brought on his death.To begin, Willy's pride is seen in his refusal to quit in his attempt to be a successful salesman. Many people try to discourage him from his dream, but he's too prideful to quit. One example of this is seen when Willy's brother, Ben, asks

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

Arthur Miller's Portrayal Of Willy In "Death Of A Salesman"

923 words - 4 pages untidy. Which shows he has no money to buy a big house that leans over the others, and as a salesman you would have thought that he would have had a lot of money as he is a working salesman. This creates a affect that he is a worthless salesman who earns no money Arthur Miller uses the fact of him having no money or a big house to show that he is a not a good salesman. Arthur Show Willy entering the stage carrying two large sample cases which

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