How Does Arthur Miller Use the Theme of Dreams to Convey the Hopes and Disappointments of Other Characters?

Topics: Death of a Salesman, Daydream, Marilyn Monroe Pages: 3 (1284 words) Published: April 20, 2013
The theme of dreams plays a very important part in ‘Death of a Salesman’. They consist of ‘the American Dream’, daydreams and hopes for succeeding. Willy Loman was the main victim in this play as he ended up losing his life by trying to achieve the ‘American Dream’. Although, this dream was the main reason for Willy’s early death, this wasn’t something that he wanted to do; it was the dream that the American society wanted him to do. This dream is known as ‘The American Dream’ and it played an important role in disappointing the characters of Willy’s family. In the majority of the play, Willy Loman is seen to be following the American Dream. The American Dream is the idea that everyone can become successful, rich and popular in America, but this is mainly based on luck. Willy Loman tries to achieve this, but seeking this artificial happiness that was set by America only ended with his life being taken away. Throughout the entire play, Willy Loman was chasing this false dream that was given to him by the society surrounding him, but he never wanted to do this. He wanted to live in the country and support himself in the great outdoors, “Me and my boys in those grand outdoors” (Act 2), but this never worked out because of the American society, which made Willy forget about his true dream and forced him to spend his entire life chasing ‘the American Dream’ which in the end, brought him to an early death. Another theme of dreams that Arthur Miller used was ‘hopes and ambitions’. Willy’s flashbacks link to this theme as he has still not achieved his ambition to become successful; instead, Willy used his flashbacks to hide in the past where his life was cheerful and pleasant. A perfect example of this was at the beginning of the play where he said that his son, Biff was not achieving anything with his life, but then, he fell into a flashback where Biff was popular in school and was adored by everyone around him. Willy keeps on reminiscing this time because it shows...
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