Is Willy Loman's suicide a completion of the American Dream?

Essay by bigproofA+, November 2003

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Downloaded 39 times

Willy Loman's interpretation of the American Dream is defined by a life that is composed of fortune and fame. In the Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman believes that being well liked and having a personal attractiveness, together, can bring success, money and many friends. Willy Loman's inability to live up to his own goals drives him to place expectations on his sons. When Willy realizes that his sons abandon him and his aspirations, he decides that the he can give his family what he wants if he only leaves the world. Willy believes that he will experience a revival with the conclusion of his life. His suicide will essentially be a completion of the American Dream that he has always strived for.

Willy wants his sons to live in the shadow of his life, carrying the weight of his ambitions. Unlike Willy, Biff is compelled to seek the truth about himself and is eager to break free from his father's fantasized expectations.

"Will you let me go for Christ's sake? Will you take that phoney dream and burn it before something happens?" Also, unlike his father, Biff acknowledges and accepts his failures, which brings him closer to reclaiming his identity and finding true meaning in his life. Willy becomes convinced that neither he nor his sons will fulfill his false impression of the American Dream. His realization leaves him with only one choice, and that is to commit suicide so he can attain some sort of retribution.

Willy spends his entire life in search of prosperity and good - fortune and finally comes to realize that he does not have the power to turn his delusional dreams into reality. As Willy approaches his suicide, he understands that he failed to accomplish his prospects. He says, "Why?...