Death Of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. Analysis of how it relates to the American Dream.

Essay by BrianXXXUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2005

download word file, 6 pages 4.3 1 reviews

Death of a Salesmen by Arthur Miller, one of America's leading playwrights of the twentieth century was written in 1949. This play describes the conflicts within the Loham family to succeed in Willy Lohman' idea of the "American Dream". Willy Lohman's distorted mind believes that success is measured by your wealth and by the number of people that like you. In fact, Willy indicates that the number of people that like you is demonstrated by the number of people that know your name in each town or city and the number of people that attend your funeral. This superficial and materialistic view of the "American Dream" ultimately destroys Willy and his family. Charlie, the owner of a successful sales firm and Lohman's neighbor solidifies this distorted view when he is quoted saying "Who liked JP Morgan? Was he impressive? In a Turkish bath he'd look like a butcher.

But with his pockets on he was very well liked" (1981).

We are introduced to Willy Lohman in Death of a Salesman when he is a salesman at the end of a long sales career with the same firm. Willy lives in the memories of the better days of his life and his dreams of what might have been. Throughout his life, the success that Willy sought eluded him. His ultimate failure as a salesman creates the depression and dementia that eventually leads to the destruction of relationships within his family and the relationships with the people who care for him the most. He is happiest when he is looking forward to something or when he reminiscing parts of his past. In order to cope with his failures, Willy creates an idealistic version of the truth, or Willy's truth. The first glimpse of this altered state of mind...