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Valentine Oliver-Uzoaru

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Valentine Oliver-Uzoaru 11.1 Ms. Cowburn Nov 2005 Death of a Sales man Essay: Discuss the importance of dreams in the play. A dream is the state of mind in which an individual starts picturing events of possibilities or ambition in a conscious or sub-conscious mind. Dream is an integrated part of Death of a salesman; it revolves around the hopes and ambitions, daydreams and fantasies for all the characters in the Loman family and above all it examines the reality of the very much anticipated American Dream and the shallow promises of Happiness through fame and material wealth. Arthur Miller shows us from the beginning of the play that all the characters are dreamers - "An air of dreams clings to the place, a dream rising out of reality" this instantly introduces the theme of Dreams even before a character emerges to the scene, therefore indirectly associates the whole Loman Family with the Dream which is obviously the American Dream. Arthur Miller demonstrates to us the typical character of the chief protagonist Willy Loman, by setting his first scene to when he's not in control of his state of mind, he consistently forgets and looses concentration on what he's doing and often finds himself wondering in a different direction - "All of a sudden...I absolutely forgot I was driving.... ...read more.


Linda wouldn't ask Willy this question if she wasn't certain that it was the only way to make him realise how ugly their life would become if he carries on 'putting all his eggs in a basket'. This idea of the failed dream takes control of Willy's physical and psychological well being, He gets sacked from work by his Boss, Howard, who unlike Willy, is fulfilling Willy's assessment of American Dream. He gets ditched by his surviving friends except Charley, the father of Biff's successful childhood friend Bernard, who finally becomes a professional supreme court Lawyer. Willy's pride wouldn't let him work for Charley to earn a living; he rather kept on increasing his unpromising debts to Charley; he starts forcing the American Dream upon his sons due to his failure and frustration. Material belongings which should be a thing of comfort to him turns into agony - "that god damn Stude baker, and you got one more payment on the refrigerator..... but it just broke again"; He cant cope with the expenses to maintain some of the properties which are generally the supposed American Dream. Willy can't handle seeing Linda mending stockings because that reminds him of their inability to purchase a new one, furthermore the stockings cycles around his previous relationship with another woman which Biff found out about. ...read more.


Biff asks this rhetorical question to Willy, realising that he's (Biff0 the only one seeing how bad things are going to get if this keeps going on, he gives up pressure of trying to convince Willy with a cry. With the only aspect of Willy's life linked to capitalism and consumer culture which is associated with the American Dream shatters; debts keeps increasing without any means of payment, he couldn't escape the bond of depression and sought no other measure but SUICIDE so as to pre-occur his family an insurance claim for his death. Ironically, Willy kills himself in a car, this symbolises the life he's always wanted, representing a capitalism and consumerism society. Biff is the only character in the Loman family who strongly 'Strongly' questions the validity of the American Dream - "He had the wrong dreams, all, all wrong. Even up to the point of his (Willy) funeral, Happy is still leaving in dreams and a promise to live up to the father's believes and Dream (which led to his doom) Arthur Miller makes the audience aware of the fact that having dreams beyond reach can lead to a life long tragedy. He uses Willy as an example of how undivided faith in such a dream as the American Dream can often yield tragic results, especially when it goes largely unfulfilled. Valentine Oliver-Uzoaru 11.1 ...read more.

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