kathy N asked in Education & ReferenceQuotations · 1 decade ago

What does it mean when they ask of the "American Dream",,im reading DEATH OF A SALESMAN.....?

I have to pick a character and choose one of thier quotes on what truly matter in their life

please list examples...

thank you

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    I've read the play before, and found this essay online. Reading it, it really captures the theme of the American Dream with Willy Loman's character. It is very accurate in it's description and may help you a bit. If you find a quote and tweek around with this essay, I'm sure it'll be very powerful!

    In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman’s warped view of the American Dream caused tragedy in his family because he stressed the importance of popularity over hard work and risk-taking over perserverence. Willy grew up believing that being "well-liked" was important to becoming a success. He believed that being well-liked could help you charm teachers and open doors in business. He is proud that the neighborhood boys flock around Biff and respond to Biff’s athletic abilities, and in the same breath scoffs at the nerdy Bernard, who is too focused on school and his studies to be popular. Even though Biff turns out to be a failure as an adult, Willy holds on to the hopes that a business man who Biff met years ago will offer him a terrific job if Biff can be his old likeable self and recapture the confidence and grace he had as a teenager. Near the end of the play, Willy encounters the once-nerdy Bernard, who is now a successful lawyer about to argue a case before the Supreme Court. Willy can only shake his head in wonder at life’s ironies, with his own son turning out to be a loser and Bernard a successful lawyer. He still doesn’t see that Bernard got to be successful through years of study and hard work.

    Willy’s warped view of the American Dream also included the belief that successful people were risk-takers and adventurers. He laments the fact that he never took his brother’s offer to move to Alaska to make his fortune. He envisions Biff, the once-great high school athlete, becoming a success through starting a sporting goods company. He believes people would be drawn to the company by Biff’s charisma, athletic ability, and Loman name. Willy’s last-ditch effort to make something of his life by killing himself in an automobile "accident" and handing over the insurance money to Biff is another scheme destined to failure. In contrast, we see his friend Charlie, who is living the real American Dream. Charlie has worked hard and persevered in the business world, successful enough to give money to Willy just to help him pay his bills. Arthur Miller shows us that the American Dream is valid, but those who hope to substitute popularity and lucky breaks for hard work are likely to fail.

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  • 1 decade ago

    "The American Dream" is usually considered to be getting a job that one doesn't have to worry about losing, a home, a family (you know the 2.5 kids) and being able to pay the bills with a little bit left over for entertainment.

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  • 3 years ago

    it particularly is amazingly an exceedingly good concept for a tragedy, it as a rule follows Aristotle's poetics yet its vast innovation grow to be to make the tragic hero a commonman or everyman, rather of a king, like Oedipus or a prince, like Hamlet.

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