The fulfillment of the American Dream is a theme that is dominant in Arthur Miller’s literary work, Death of a Salesman. The theme is explored from two dimensions; Willy Loman’s failures and Charley’s success. Surrounded by individuals that have managed to achieve their American dream, Willy Loman lives in a delusional world. The character’s behavior of living in his own world is adopted by his son, Biff. While evaluating Miller’s work, an insightful analysis of the thematic content that revolves around the American dream success and those that lack the willpower to achieve it including Willy Loman is discussed. This is a Student Sample ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
Evidently, from the beginning of the play, Willy Lowman gets the interpretation of the American Dream wrong. Instead of viewing success from different perspectives, Willy’s actions and overall life are built on delusions, which result in his failure to acknowledge the reality and guide his sons to success as Charley does. He hinges success to the appearance of an individual but not on substance. The perception results in his practice of snobbery and thus, in the end, the lack of practical knowledge regarding the achievements or the steps one can make in order to achieve the American Dream becomes the source of his downfall.
Willy downfall is transferred to his sons in keeping up with the American dream. Compared with his neighbor, the author intends to explore the difference between individuals who understand and who misinterpret the American Dream. Primarily, each member of Willy’s family appears to be living in denial and if not so, they perpetuate others’ cycle of denial. Despite being a salesman carried away by his mediocrity, Willy fails to accept this fact. Willy does not want to overcome the delusional life of his past memories. The memories do not help in in making informed decisions but rather they drive him away from acknowledging the reality while adopting meaningful ways of achieving his American dream. As noted from Miller’s work, Willy perceives his son’s promises to make a touchdown in the football game that his father attended. In this way, he is so proud to dwell on this as one of the aspects that make him a successful individual. He prides in his son promising to make him happy which is not at all something to consider success.
The author’s focus on Willy helps expand to his actions and the effect of his character and perceptions on his family members. Evidently, Biff and Happy, Willy’s sons learn the art of denying and manipulating reality so that it favors them which results in their dismal performance in business as well as in school. It is not accidental that they fail to achieve their real dreams but it is all attributed to the strong belief that they have in their father. Usually, when people find out that their role model is a fraud and a liar, they shift blame him or her upon themselves as failures. Similarly, in the play, Miller is keen to note the resentment of Biff and Happy towards their misleading father. They cannot get themselves out of their trapped and delusional lives but can only observe the damage their father has done to them.
However, to make the play interesting to the reader while disseminating the message of well-lived life and the achievements that are used as a trademark for the real American dream, the author explores the life of Charley. Emphasizing on the American dream, Miller’s literature offers a contrast of Willy Loman. Charley, the father of Bernard is successful and amplifies the nature of the American Dream in all ways. The character is portrayed as an individual who has a complete control of his life and that of his family in a positive way. In the journey of achieving the timeless and endless American dream, some principles should be observed insightfully as noted from Charley and Bernard’s life. Miller’s use of Charley and Bernard is a way of informing the reader the path that Loman should have followed in order to live in accordance with the principles and practices outlined in the American Dream.
It is apparent that Miller has portrayed the American Dream as the main theme in his literature, Death of a Salesman. The author puts misguided American Dream will result in downfall as exhibited by Willy. The understanding of the American Dream principles is portrayed in Charley’s caring nature and success in business. Charley can make right and informed decisions unlike Willy. He leads his son on the right path and manages to nurture him through his education and personal life to become a successful lawyer. Charley is a concerned individual since he helps even Willy with money for the continued upkeep of his family. On the contrary, Willy is used as a represent a failure in achieving the American Dream. His actions and attitude for money and wealth leads him to delusional life which becomes his undoing and the cause of his death and disorderly and directionless family. This is a Student Sample ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW