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American Dream

Essay by   •  October 19, 2012  •  Essay  •  863 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,198 Views

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Throughout time people have been striving for the American dream and financial success. In Arthur Millers, Death of a Salesman, the entire story focuses on the search for success and the American dream. Each character possesses a certain belief about financial success and the American dream. There are many different points of view of each character gives a message to the audience which defines success and the dream. In Arthur Millers, Death of a Salesman, the Loman family with the exception of Ben, had a certain lack of reality, which restrained the Loman's American dream. All of they have problems with reality. Willy Loman is the most delusional of the play, often having many hallucinations and flashbacks. Willy was unable to live up to his own expectations of success. Ben, Willy's brother, is quite the opposite of his sibling. He is an extremely successful person who is wealthy. However it is quite hard to distinguish Ben as a real person of a figment of Willy's imagination. Biff Loman is Willy's grown son who is the oldest child in the family. Biff has been traveling around from job to job without lasting success. Charlie, Willy's neighbor and his only friend, tries to help Willy but Willy doesn't take to his kindness. All of these characters send different opinions to the audience about dealing with the American dream and financial successes of the era.

Willy, the main character of the story, is an elderly salesman who is at the end of his career. He develops a problem with reality and telling the difference between the present and the past. He lives in a delusional world and possesses strange beliefs about success. The company Willy worked has cut his salary and now he only works on commission. Willy goes back and forth through the entire play with different flashbacks of what happened in the past shows his lack of reality.

Ben's ideas about success are very different from his brother Willy's beliefs on the subject. Ben has always been successful and left his brother when they were young to pursue fortunes in Alaska and Africa. Ben in this story is a excellent symbol of success which makes Willy feel diminutive about himself. Ben's beliefs about the American dreams are about conquest of new territory. Willy had the chance to become partners with Ben, but refused and missed the diamond fortune his brother obtained. It's apparent that Ben's character and his way of life is what Willy wants and desires for his own life.

Biff's viewpoint on success derives from his father like many peoples. He believes that success is dependent on how much people like someone. For a long time Biff believes that his life has been full of success but he soon realizes that his father's illusions are nothing but holding him down. His father always thought that his life was going to be different than

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