Death Of A Salesman Essay

948 words - 4 pages


Critical Essay – Drama
     The idea that any person can rise from humble beginnings to greatness is the basis of the American Dream. Arthur Miller paints a harsh picture of this ideal in the drama Death of a Salesman. The main character, Willy Loman, is a complex and tragic figure. He is a man striving to hold onto what dignity he has left in a world that no longer values the beliefs he grew up with. While society can be blamed for much of Willy’s misfortune, he must also be blamed for his bad judgement, disloyalty and his foolish pride.
     Willy Loman’s own delusions are a result of his failure to succeed ...view middle of the document...

But now, Willy is forced to work on commission at an old age and ultimately fired by his godson. His favored son Biff is also a hopeless dreamer, unable to hold on to a job. Willy’s “fatherly advice'; advocated “…it’s not what you do. It’s who you know and the smile on your face'; (1833). Willy’s delusions of fame and fortune infected his own life and spread to the sons he had placed such high hopes on.
     Another problem with Willy’s ideals is that he has lost sight of achieving the true goal of the American Dream, happiness and freedom, and the dream took control of him. He struggled to achieve something that he could not. He did not have the talent to be a salesman. He became so obsessed with living the dream that he was unable to be content with his talents in carpentry and with his family. When Willy’s successful neighbor comments “…that’s a piece of work. To put up a ceiling is a mystery to me';…(1812), Willy almost becomes indignant. He possesses a talent that many would envy. However Willy’s ego will not allow him to accept this as an occupation in the pursuit of the American Dream. He believed the untruth that it was more prestigious to be a less than adequate businessman than a content handyman.
     Willy is at the bottom in the world of business. He owns nothing, and he makes nothing,...

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