“Death of a Salesman – a Shattered Dream”

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“Death of a Salesman – A Shattered Dream” The American dream is the longstanding belief, held by members of its society, that anyone - regardless of race, creed, or socioeconomic status – could attain success, wealth, and prosperity. This dream has been both captured and eluded by many. These societal beliefs play a large part in Arthur Miller’s play, “Death of a Salesman”. "Death of a Salesman," tells the story of Willy Loman, a traveling salesman, who encounters frustration and failure as he reflects on his life. Willy’s quest for the American dream leads to his demise because throughout his life, he pursues the illusion of the American dream and not the reality of it. Willy’s mindset on perfection, obsession with success, and constant reminiscence of the past and foretelling of the future, all contribute to his defeat in the end. Willy Loman spent a lifetime chasing the American dream but ultimately he was sold on the wrong dream. He became enamored with the myth of American ideals and chose to put aside his real talents in pursuit of fantasy. In several instances of the play, we see that Willy is a skilled carpenter. He wants to remodel the front step just to boast to his brother, and he is continually repairing things around the house. However, he doesn’t see carpentry as an acceptable occupation. It entails hard work and there isn’t any glory in it. Instead, he chooses to follow the dream of being a successful salesman. The problem is that Willy doesn’t seem to have any of the skills needed to be a salesman. He deludes himself into thinking he is capable of achieving the success attained by his role models – his father, his brother, Ben, and Dave Singleman. They are what he envisions as the personification of the American dream. Willy only visualizes the end product, being successful, and not the process they may have gone through to achieve that success.
Willy assumes that by being a salesman, like his father was he is

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