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Death of a Salesman Essay

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The Dream that Became the Demise Death of a Salesman addresses the quiet concerns exhibited in America during the 1940s through the protagonist Willy Loman. The 1940s ushered American citizens into the epoch of attempting to reach unattainable perfection. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller addresses such flaws that surfaced in this era by showing how believing too passionately in one notion, can lead to a person?s ultimate demise. Willy Loman?s goal was a quite common one, to live the perfect life, commonly known as ?The American Dream.? The difference between him and everyone else is that his dream became an obsession. Having gown up without a father, caused him to want nothing but the best for his own family but his flawed ways to achieve this goal ended up ruining his life and the lives of those around him, specifically his eldest son Biff. America in the 1940s was a time in which citizens wanted to achieve such outlandish goals such as ?The American Dream?. ...read more.


?Dad left when I was such a baby and I never had a chance to talk to him and I still feel ? kind of temporary about myself? (Miller 51). Willy believed the reason for Ben?s success was he had guidance from both parents. He felt that his own lackluster life was due to the fact that his father left him at such a young age. One specific example that can be sited is how Willy speculated that his father could have instilled some confidence had he been around. Through these assumptions made by Willy, the audience begins to see how his insecurities about not having a father effected how he raised his children. Since being a good father to his children was so important to Willy because his father was not there for him, Willy decided that he would put all of his efforts into making his boys lives? as great as they could possibly be. ...read more.


Whenever a fight breaks out between Willy and Biff, Happy always sides with his father because for some strange reason he still looks up to him. Similarly, Happy is making money and is able to pay his rent, but he still is not content with the way his life has turned out. All in all, one man?s unattainable goal and the support of a loyal family brought down not only Willy?s life, undoubtedly it caused all of theirs to spin out of control as well. The difference between this and many other plays written about the period, was that it focused on one aspect that related to the idealism from ?The American Dream?. Never before had a play addressed such a small aspect of the 1940s idealism, the want for a complete family. Essentially, this play really illustrated the chain of events that can occur under certain events and mentalities. It also dealt with the idea that too much of anything is not good for you. Too much positive encouragement will not allow any room for improvement, and if someone cannot learn to tackle their flaws, then they are inevitably flawed as is. ...read more.

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