Free Death Of A Salesman AND The American Dream Essay Sample

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: America, United States, American Dream, Arthur Miller, Death Of A Salesman, Death, Life, Salesman

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/03/22

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Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman exposes the American dream by depicting the disillusionment of career and life of the middle-class members of the American Society. The plays captures a plethora of hopes and fears of the society by using characters whose life reinforce the message of illusion and hope that shape the everyday life of an average American. The manifested tension in the play, Death of a Salesman address an overt private economic and social worlds of the American in the existing reality (Clifford, p.112). The success of the author in portraying elements of the American dream and how the play relates to the contemporary American society significantly build on the integration of expressionism, realism, and biographical allusion to structure a principal feature of the American dream (Lawrence, p.69).
The understanding of the American dream wrought through the dramatic structure of the late point of attack. This advantage of the Medias Res facilitate a succinct integration of every concept, as well as thought of the American middle class, represent by the flash back of the protagonist Willy (Sterling, p.112). The relational effect of Death of a Salesman and the contemporary state of the American dream is informed by the in and out lapse of Willy’s past. His attempt to appreciate the reality of life is inherently absorbed in the recollection of his past (Miller, p8).
According to Clifford (p71), the implication of Willy’s life to the general appreciation of the American Dream exposes the family of Willy as a unit of the society that accomplished its objectives and achievement through fantasy. In so doing, Death of a Salesman effectively provides a background knowledge of the importance of understanding various causes and reasons that engulfed the family of Loman Willy. To illustrate, it is important to allude to the compulsions of Willy about the problem of Biff (Miller, p.13). The thinking of characters in the play portrays the contemporary state of affairs in the social, economic and cultural and political problems that middle-class house hold faces in the modern American society.
The Death of a Salesman portrays the struggle of Willy to accept the falsehood of the American dream. The efforts geared to achieving this dreams leads to a failure of realizing that Biff, like many other American contemporaries, does not wish to pursue the America dream (Cullen, p. 81). The play emphasis on the measures of success in the lens of individual members of the society as well as the existing flaws in the material and economic wealth. The interpretation of wealth depicts the association of the American dream of economic success as a measure of achievement, respect, and status. The author illustrates the tragedy that material wealth is not the determinant of happiness. As a result, it is imperative to reflect on the understanding of Sterling (p98) that the pursuit of economic wealth does not guarantee contentment in the life and career of a person. Instead, the response the individual establishes to economic wealth can be the source of destruction in the life of an individual. As evidenced in Willy’s life, Death of a Salesman shapes the trajectory of understanding the American dream was and still is an illusion that is anchored on falsehood (Miller, 54). With regard to this, it emerges that the hope that all Americans can live enjoying economic success and be happy at the same time is an ignorant sense of hope. The emerging state of affairs is that the capitalist tenets require individual to work hard, get paid less and give huge tax deductions to the government (Cullen, p. 68).
The theme of the consequential hero in the American society remarkably gives evidence to the efforts by Willy to make sense and justify his existence to the unappreciative and cruel society. From this perspective, the definition of the American dream is dead as characterized by the surreal appearance of Ben, the dead brother of Willy, as well as his sons (Miller, p.37). Cullen (p.76) argues that the motivation for Death of a Salesman is pegged on the tenets of capitalism and Marxism theory of class. This guides the interpretation of the events in the play. Willy extensively show the skills that emerge as suitable for the outside life but ineffective in repairing and building his life. The relational effect of the occurrence of the play to the nature and form of the American dream, as it is in the present times, portray progressive ideas.
Most Americans, as it was represented by Willy Loman and his family, are motivated by the hope of seeing the materialistic success of the American dream which in most cases is beyond achievement (Sterling, p.59). In Death of a Salesman, Miller used the structural ability to manifest the challenges of realizing the American dream through explosion, and Medias Res; all ending with a requiem. The locational shift of the play present the conflict and resolution of the American dream enhanced by the motif, symbolism and flashback (Clifford, 87). Accordingly, it is evident that the fundamental role of such structure initiates an in-depth understanding of the play. Tis is evident when the suspense is created, leaving one to wonder whether Willy Loman is responsible for his on death (Miller, 48). The turn of events in the play paints a picture of hopeless and fear. As a result, Willy is embodied as a pathetic, desperate man caught in the current that is seemingly stronger than him.
The fixation of Willy Loman with a host of attractiveness and likeability as superficial feature do not articulate the essence of the American dream. Lawrence (p.98) argues that the philosophy of the American dream identify the aspects of hard work without whining and complaining. This is the key to success. A case in point is the blind nature of faith that Willy manifested to enhance the stunted vision of his understanding of the American dream. Such a skewed philosophy is evident in the contemporary society and is the reason why many American middle class continue to suffer from a rapid psychological decline whenever they are unable to appreciate the exiting disparity between the reality of life and the hopes of the American dream. To illustrate, it emerges that while Willy was psychologically motivated, he depicted a sense of stupidity, immorality, self-delusion and failure relative to the values enshrined in the American dream (Miller, p.77).Such a sense of personal dignity characterizes the nominal significance of the American dream that inspires many people to engage in precarious intention to be accorded with heroic stature in the society.
Literary scholars maintain that the universal appeal that endures in Death of a Salesman is the central theme of the failure in realizing the American dream. The commitment of Willy to false ambitions and social values prevents him from acknowledging the reality of human experience and the value of celebrating little achievements such as family, the comfort of love, personal relationships and friends (Cullen, p.112). This argument reflects on the contentment of Willy with his position and honest appreciation of life as it is would have made him bear with life and make it through happiness and inner peace. However, the true picture of events inform a different narrative where Willy realizes that his life can only be valuable through his efforts as a good parent. As a result, he sacrifices all his energy and resource to ensure that his sons get a share in material wealth in line with his desires (Sterling, p.93). In view of this, Lawrence (p.64) underscores that the Death of a Salesman is an indictment of the materialist value and rejects the capitalism spirit that characterize the American dream. The playwright significantly construed a meaning of life anchored on exaggerated ambitions. The outcome of such ideologies is futile life.
The play Death of a Salesman extensively exposes the relationship between dysfunctional family tie and gender. The focus on the guilt, innocence as well as falsehood ae extensively explored through the spectrum of family roles. According to Sterling (p.113), the manifestation of betrays are a disservice to the journey of realizing the American dream and thus, every American must identify their social, economic and political niche, accept such a niche and make life bearable. The case of Willy, who epitomizes the symbol of a salesman later kills himself to portray the anti-hero thesis hence reject the utility of the American dream. The characterization of Willy manifests a primary flaw that makes him unable to fight more turn his life towards the good cause that serves him and his family (Lawrence, p.66).
Arthur Miller in the Death of a Salesman uses Willy as a strategic tool that helps in facilitating a concise understanding of how the contemporary American society works so hard to achieve material and economic success but avoid the reality (Cullen, p.57). The apparent source of comfort and consolation over what an individual cannot achieve in the society is the continued tendency to dream. As portrayed in the play, the American middle men build on fantasies as well as other misleading social constructions to anchor their hopes and concepts of success. The playwright extensively touches on the need for holistic success ranging from social, moral, material, and spiritual success (Cullen, p.113).
The futile efforts to achieve and realize whatever members of the American middle class envisaged form part of the great appreciation in economic upward mobility. However, the realization of flaws in perception ultimately contribute to the versatility in the middle-class characterization. Death of a Salesman is an account of Willy, who struggles to achieve success and be in line with the American dream (Clifford, p.87). Instead, he drags his whole family into the confusion of his decisions blinded by his efforts to influence their lives to achieve success, satisfaction, and happiness. This is an indication of resigning to fate. The paly captures the bold realism of the tragedy of hopes and failures in the contemporary society. This is a masterpiece that communicates the realism of life to portray the recurring of the American dream. Death of a Salesman demonstrates a manifold of universal fears as well as hope that the American middle class faces.

Work Cited

Clifford, Weales Gerald. Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman: text and criticism. New York: Viking Press, 1967
Cullen, Jim. The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea that Shaped a Nation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004
Lawrence, Samuel. The American Dream: A Cultural History. New York: Syracuse University Press, 2012
Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. Oxford: Prentice-Hall 1949
Sterling, Eric. Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. New York: Rodopi, 2008.

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