The “American dream” is the American idea of prosperity and success to any and all people, regardless of circumstances of birth or social class. All men are created equal, and therefor deserve equal rights to make a living and become successful in terms of wealth, love, happiness, and material possessions. In the case of Willy Loman, of Death of a salesman, he strongly believes in this dream, but unfortunately he doesn’t factor in hard work, but instead thinks he can achieve success in the business world by being “well liked” and “personally attractive”. Willy’s superficial understanding of the American dream leads to insecurities and false hopes for himself and his sons Biff and Happy who also have a warped interpretations. The Death of a Salesman incorporates struggle for success, finding meaning in ones life and the reality of the life of Willy Loman.
According to Willy, the life of a successful businessman consists of Being “well liked”, “personally attractive”, “respect”, “comradeship” and “Gratitude”. Unfortunately in the world that he lives in, it boils down to hard work and keeping everything professional, “Today, it’s all cut and dried, and there’s no chance for bringing friendship to-or personality.” - Willy Loman. The whole reason Willy wanted to become a salesman was because he realized that “selling was the greatest career a man could want.” He was blinded by the american dream, and failed to realize his personal failure and betrayal of his family.
Biff and Happy Loman (Willy’s sons) are products of Willy’s attempt at raising model sons. Both are lost, confused, men who are trying to please their father, but end up trying to hide/cover up their insecurities, faults, and false hopes by abusing alcohol, women and their families. Biff, unlike willy, is seeking the truth about himself, he is trying to break through the lies surrounding his family in order to come to terms with his own life. “And I never got anywhere because you blew me so full...
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