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Death of a Salesman - Discuss the Importance of Dreams in the Play.

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Death of a Salesman Discuss the Importance of Dreams in the Play The American Dream is strongly linked to a consumer culture and capitalism, and this is the main theme of the play. Dreams are the main structure of the play. Dreams can be many things; they can be divided into two types. They can be your hopes and ambitions, fantasies, hallucinations, and can also the dreams in your subconscious mind whilst you are asleep. 'The American Dream' is what Willy bases his life on. The only way for him is up. Dreams seem to 'motivate the characters' actions, they express and explain their past and present behaviour. 'The American Dream' is the most important part in 'A Death of a Salesman'. Willy strives to achieve for himself and his sons, Biff and Happy, to be rich and successful having money to pay off all the bills and not being in debt is the ideal. 'The American Dream' is literally having the best of everything, owning your own car and land, being popular and having the opportunity and qualifications to be successful. All the way through the play Willy strives for 'The American Dream'. ...read more.


'What the hell am I doing, playing around with horses, twenty-eight dollars a week...And now, I get here, and I don't know what to do with myself.' Biff is so confused with life because he was brought up to believe that he should be 'manager' of a big company and will always be rich and successful. He seems to like his job in the open space but thinks that he should be earning more money than he is. Happy is like his brother Biff, lost but in a different way. He is thirty-two and is totally absorbed in his father's dreams and ambitions. Happy continually boasts about his sex life. 'About five-hundred women would like to know what was said in this room.' he tells Biff. Happy's dreams are like his bosses. He should be able to build a large estate and then sell it two months after, because he doesn't like it and then start to build another. The two boy's hopes and dreams come from their father. They were brought up to want the very best and are force-fed the wrong hopes and ambitions from childhood. The hopes and dreams that the Loman family have, have affected their lives in many different ways. ...read more.


Happy depends on the death of others higher ranked than him for promotion rather than his own skills. The past events are never shown as they actually happened, they are shown the way Willy interprets them. Willy seems to distort the event when Biff finds Willy and 'The Woman' in the bedroom in Brooklyn. He does this to try and block out the bad thoughts, and create a past he can hide in from others. Dreams are so important in the play because they seem to link everything together 'The American Dream', Hopes and Ambitions and 'Daydreams, Fantasies and Memories'. Throughout this play, Miller is saying to the audience that our society, promotes things to strive for that are way beyond the reaches of that person. Peer pressure is mainly what drives us to want more and the best of everything, getting into debt. Miller says that the characters in the play are affected by the dream, 'The American Dream'. Although the play was written over fifty years ago in 1949, it still has relevance today. In the 1950's, capitalism was taking hold after the Second World War; today commercialism still has a powerful hold in the Western world's culture. I think Miller is telling us to live our lives according to our own dreams and not others. Sam Parsons 1 ...read more.

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