The American Dream In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

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In the play, Death of a Salesman, the Lomans are a typical middle class family struggling to support themselves while the rest of the world seems to thrive around them. Willy Loman believes that how he carries himself is the most important trait needed to prosper in all aspects. His idea of success is similar to that of the concept that arises from Survival of the Fittest: the people who are born with the right set of skills are bound to be well adapted to their surroundings and naturally better off than the rest. Willy’s view of the American Dream is that success will eventually come to you if you possess the qualities needed to succeed at a social level. This alters the concept of the American Dream, as posited abstractly, that consists of taking initiative and working your way to the top based on your efforts. Willy’s hamartia…show more content…
34). Willy’s take away from this story is that his father became successful from being well-liked. Willy encourages his children to follow this same method, often using himself as an examples from basing his career on being well-liked. He tells young Biff, “...and that’s the wonder, the wonder of this country, that a man can end with diamonds here on the basis of being liked...And that’s why when you get out on that field today it’s important” (pg. 62). He tells 34-year old Biff, “Don’t be so modest...Start off with a couple of your good stories to lighten things up. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it-because personality always wins the day” (pg. 48). Willy sticks to his belief that being well-liked would lead anyone to success. However, when he starts to realize that being well-liked failed him, his whole life falls apart. Charley explains, “He’s a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a Shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back — that’s an earthquake” (pg.
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