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My American Dream Compared To The American Dream In Death Of A Salesman

Essay by   •  March 21, 2011  •  682 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,210 Views

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What is the "American Dream"? The "American Dream" has as many definitions as there are souls that strive for it. I know that my "American Dream" is being able to have the freedom of choice and helping others that I care about get their dream as well. Willy Loman's definition differs from mine; he is looking for social status and material belongings, instead of true peace and happiness within. The "American Dream" is the idea that any man or woman can have happiness and contentment in their life; but they must make the right decisions to fulfill this destiny. Willy is trying to achieve success through believing that being "well liked" and working hard will be enough to ensue his success; never realizing the decisions he makes not only prevents his success, it also harms the ones he loves.

Social class is a major factor in Death of a Salesman. Willy is a salesman. Willy believes that success comes from being well liked and popular and has tried desperately to instill his notions to his two boys Happy and Biff, Willy's biggest aspirations in life. His wife Linda is extremely supportive and is Willy's only connection to reality. While raising his boys and trying to instill his "American Dream", he fails to teach them any sense of morality, leading them down to what he feels is the wrong path. At one point, he defends Biff for stealing just because he was an amazing football player. "Sure, he's gotta practice with a regulation ball, doesn't he?" (pg. 1024) It seems Willy has a skewed sense of what success and moral decisions should be. I think if Willy would have thought about what he was doing, instead of faking it and just trying to fit in, he may have found what he was looking for.

Although the Loman's lives are full of many problems, the problems are not directly caused by Willy striving for the American dream. Willy's problems, (that usually affects the whole family) are caused by little decisions made throughout his life. He has a choice of whether or not to do something, he just makes the wrong decision most of the time. Willy's biggest misconception in achieving his dream is; it doesn't matter what you do to get what you want, as long as you get it, very greedy. Most of his decisions are unconscious to how it may affect others. The majority

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