Willy's fear

Essay by corza36University, Bachelor'sB+, April 2004

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What is the American Dream? Who decides the American dream for you? In the play, Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller, the American dream is approached and challenged by the main character Willy Loman. Willy is set on a superficial American dream that good looks, popularity, and the success in business selling is the ultimate happiness. Willy cannot often tell the difference between his own life and his dream. He is an elderly salesman that believes selling is the only way to earn a good income for him and his family. Willy is very dedicated to his job but his job could care less about him. He spends a lot of time mumbling, babbling, and dreaming of the past. He often thinks of his father's abandonment and his brother's success. Willy is afraid that the people close to him will leave him too, in spite; he believes the illusions of his own success.

Because Willy believes that his popularity will prevent his rejection, he strives for his family to do the same. Willy's fear of abandonment leads Willy to conform his and his family's principles into the American dream.

At a young age Willy's father leaves Willy and his Brother Ben to adventure out into the salesman world leaving Willy and Ben with nothing and no recollection of who their father was or what he is doing with his life. Willy's father figure has banished and Willy has no guidance. He looks to Ben for leadership. Then, Ben travels to find his father in Alaska and stumbles upon diamond mines that make him instantly rich. In Willy's daydream Ben says to him, "William, when I walked into the jungle, I was seventeen. When I walked out I was twenty-one. And, by god, I was rich!" (1900).

Ben was...