Comparison of Death of a Salesman, Battle Royal and A Dream Deferred

Essay by Trey206College, UndergraduateB, January 2009

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In America in the early 1900’s, material success was preferable to anything else. Some people experienced immense prosperity and unprecedented wealth as social processes occurred. It was around this time that the war between capitalism and communism occurred. This was the time where the majority of citizens believed in the American Dream, which is the pursuit of material prosperity. It’s the idea that people can work harder to get bigger rewards, financial freedom and the fruits of labor for their families. This was also a period of mass unemployment and of an economic depression. The theme of “Death of a Salesman”, “Battle Royal and “Dream Deferred” all relate to the pursuit of happiness and the American dream. The ambition of human beings in society and this notion of competition is clearly expressed and portrayed in the above works.

Through Miller's drama “Death of a Salesman”, the relationship between Willy and his two sons, Biff and Happy is used to reflect how significant the dream was for many Americans, a dream that could lead to either financial and spiritual harmony or even total devastation.

Willy believed wholeheartedly in what he considered to be the promise of the American Dream, that a well liked and personally attractive man in business will unquestionably acquire the material comforts offered by modern American life. (Domina) Willy seeks success for his sons, especially Biff. Willy wished his hopes and dreams for success onto his sons. (Domina) Unfortunately, this theory did not work well in his life. As youngsters, his sons took to heart this advise, but as the play progresses, we see the downfall this advise has upon Willy and his son Biff. Biff is physically strong, the captain of his football team, and handsome. With this in mind, Willy believes that Biff does...