Death Of A Salesman

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In what way does Miller make this an Effective Ending to the Play in Terms of Presenting the Failures of the ‘American Dream’?

Miller makes the ending of ‘Death of a Salesman’ effective in terms of presenting the failures of the ‘American Dream’ by creating a tragedy of Willy Loman. Willy successfully commits suicide and the Loman family are now left with his life insurance money. In general the play is about money, being successful and achieving the ‘American Dream’ which Willy and his two sons, Biff and Happy unfortunately fail.

The ‘American Dream’ is a dream that any man would want to achieve, so they can become rich and have a good life. The ‘American Dream’ is seen as a man being happy, with a perfect family, with sons looking up to him owning a house of their own with a garden. America is known as the land of opportunities and is believed to offer chances of riches even if you start off with nothing. It is thought anyone can achieve this dream with talent and personality.

Willy makes up stories throughout the play about being triumphant as he hides from the truth which leads to his death. This makes the ending of the play effective because Willy is a man who is trying to pretend to be someone he isn’t, showing off to his family that he is a rich well known man, who can do anything and has reached the ‘American Dream’. However the truth is that he is really just another ordinary man trying to earn a fair amount of money for a living. We know that Willy is trying to earn some money because throughout the play a few times he has to go to his neighbour Charley to borrow money to pay off the mortgage or fix the refrigerator and other everyday needs. This implies that Willy had not achieved the ‘American Dream’ and this presents one of the failures of the ‘American Dream’.

In general the play is about money and achieving the ‘American Dream’ which Willy and his two sons unfortunately fail, which makes the ending of the play effective because Biff knows that he could not achieve the ‘American Dream’ because he says in the play “Pop! I’m a dime a dozen, and so are you!” This quote indicates that Biff knows he’s just another common man just like his brother, Happy and his father and everyone else he knows which presents another failure of the ‘American Dream’ showing that Biff has given up hope on achieving the dream. Biff also knew his father, Willy had not achieved the ‘American Dream’ and all these years he was lying about being well known all over America.

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Miller has made Willy Loman a character stuck in the past who hides away from the truth, the man he really is. ‘I am known! Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey – I am known”, Willy states that he is a man with a big imagination and is a very competitive character. Willy believed there was a shortcut for his sons Biff and Happy to achieve this dream because he believed that if you were masculine, social and popular you could accomplish the ‘American dream’ easily. This demonstrates a failure of the ‘American Dream’ because according to Willy if ...

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