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American Dream Leads the Tragedy of Willy's Family

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American dream leads the tragedy of Willy's family

The Death of a Salesman ends with Willy's committing suicide, leaving his hope for his children that they can leave a successful life. A question occurred to me: what leads to the tragedy of Willy and his family? I believe that it was the American dream.

The American dream of Willy is basically acquired from his father and brother Ben. Willy's father is "great and a very wild-hearted" man and he makes his business successful by selling flute in west American. After that, he went to Alaska. And Willy's brother Ben become rich in Africa by having a diamond mines. Both of them succeed in the world which is outdoor and full of adventure. And both of them who abandon him leave him alone in Brooklyn struggling to success. I think that is why he is so desperate for the American dream to success. Consequently, Willy's whole life is under the shadow of American dream, which finally makes him a tragic hero.

American dream gives Willy a too high expectation for his life, which makes him blind on himself and his family.

Willy has never had a proper view toward himself. "Willy Lomen" suggests his low position in the society. However, he never realizes it but still regard himself a very important person to others. He defines that he is the well-liked, respectable and rich guy. However, the reality is that he's nobody to other people and he cannot even make enough money for his family. He even cannot buy his lover a stocking but just taking his wife's to her. He even failed in his career.

In addition, his American dream makes him never truly have an overview towards his family. His self-respect and self-delusion makes him never have a true communication with his sons. He never knows his son biff. He blames Biff for his betrayal of his expectation but he never knows what biff wants in his career. He only attributes this failure to Biff's finding out his affair with another woman, which is actually not.

when he decides to commit suicide, Ben's voice appears--"The jungle is dark, but full of diamonds" I think this suggest that his death is an adventure which will finally find the diamonds--the dream that his son will make a success with his insurance money. He makes his final try to reach his American dream which unfortunately will never come true.

Another tragic role in this play is Biff. Willy's American dream is the reason for his failure in his early years. When he was young, Willy stresses his dream to him. According to Willy, Biff's success depends on how physically strong biff is and how popular he is in his school. These, in Willy's mind, are the basic elements for Biff to achieve the American dream. However, Willy has never really concerned about Biff's study. I think Bernard is a contrast to Willy's failure in Biff's education. Willy attributes the Biff's failure to Biff's discovery to his affair, which leads to Biff'



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