How Has Willy Achieved The American Dream

806 Words4 Pages
In Death of a Salesman, author, Arthur Miller develops a character, which is not only controversial and problematic but extremely flawed as well. Willy Loman’s goal in life is to climb out of his social class and to do so; he believes ones must be well-liked. With this mind set, Willy desperately tries to instill this into his own sons. Arthur Miller begins the play with a false idea built around the “American Dream”, while using the character Willy Loman to further push his vision. The American Dream being the ideal standard of equal opportunity that most Americans strive to achieve, typically through hard work and initiative. However, Willy Loman believes that the way to success is through personal charm and charisma rather than hard…show more content…
Miller illustrates that Willy has not achieved the American Dream yet, through the broken refrigerator, that Linda, Willy’s wife, ushers him to fix and his inability to pay off his mortgage. Willy has the illusion that he has successfully reached his goals because he is well-liked in the business world; however this is not true, as he remains completely oblivious to the fact that his fellow salesmen mock him behind his back. This is not good because the ultimate satisfaction for Willy is to die the “death of a salesman”, like the great Dave Singleman. This includes being “remembered” and “loved” by almost everyone in the corporate world. This seems to be important because he believes such a feeling is lacking in his personal relationships. For this reason Willy “practically worships this legendary salesman, who at the age of eight-four ‘drummed merchandise in thirty one states’ by picking up a phone in his hotel room and calling buyers who remembered and loved him” (Centola 31). Willy holds this “ruthless figure” (Centola 31) in such high honor and “clings to the illusion that he can become another Dave Singleman” (Centola 32). However, Willy fails to acknowledge the human side to Dave Singleman. The side that had to work up until the age of eighty-four and as a result probably never truly experienced the American Dream for
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