Willy Loman, in the book "Death of a Salesman", by Arthur Miller, and his quest for the "American Dream."

Essay by egmiller March 2003

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

A Death of the American Dream

The American Dream is forever being chased, and never caught. Willy Loman, the main character, in A Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller chose to follow the American dream and lead the life it gave him. The American dream is the belief that through sheer hard work alone, any man can gain professional success and thus receive personal gain. The major flaw in this 'dream' is that it produces selfish individuals who will go to any extent to receive personal gain. Willy's character is one of a common man; Miller portrays him not as an evil selfish person, but as a well meaning yet misguided person. Miller also adds other characters to show the different effects the American dream can have on people.

For Willy and his wife Linda, life's accomplishments and sources of pleasure are simple. They focus their lives on the mortgage of their house.

For twenty-five years Willy and Linda have been working to pay off their mortgage, and once they do that, they will attain a sense of freedom, or the 'American Dream.' Willy is a salesman, always traveling from state to state, staying in motels, away from home. This increases the importance of a house to him because it is not only a place where he lives, but it also represents stability in his life. He shows the same pride for his ownership of the house as he did for Biff, his son, during his football years.

Biff's character is one of an admired nature. When he was at school he was always popular, athletic and full of potential. All this changed however when he went to see his father in Boston. This is when Biff found out about Willy's affair. Finding this out crushed Biff...