Death of a Salesman
The American Dream is defined as the traditional social ideals of the United States, such as equality, democracy, and material prosperity. The American Dream is at work within each character’s life. Positively when it can be achieved and negatively when the expectations are unrealistically high. In the story the author, Arthur Miller, compares successful businessmen to a non-successful delusional salesman. The successful businessmen are Ben, Charlie and Howard. Willy is the main character who does not understand his lack of success in the salesman’s world. Willy’s two sons Biff and Happy are also non-successful businessmen. Willy cannot understand why he has not been successful with his life, so he lies to his sons in order to make himself look better as a father and a person.
Ben is Willy’s dead older brother who had lived the American Dream by going into a forest and becoming a rich man with diamonds. After he found the diamonds Ben had lots of opportunity for business. Willy was very jealous of Ben because Willy’s dream was unattainable to him. It was unattainable to him because no matter how hard he tried he could never reach the American Dream. He worked hard his whole life, where as Ben became very lucky. Willy sees the ghost of Ben and talks to him about life and what choices to make. The brothers talk about their parents and how their father was a businessman. Ben talks to the boys about achieving the American Dream, “Never fight fair with a stranger, boy. You’ll never get out of the jungle that way.” Ben knows a great deal about living rich and successful.
Howard is the head of the Wagner Company and is Willy’s boss. Howard’s dad started the company and was the one who hired Willy. When Willy begs Howard for a chance to work in New York, Howard fires him because Willy has made no improvement in the Wagner Company. Howard is a tough successful businessman and just doing what he thinks is the best for his company....
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