27 November 2013
The American Dream
At the turn of the century the electrifying and fantasising idea of the American Dream gave a newfound hope to immigrants coming from their forlorn lives back across the great Atlantic. Unfortunately as the century progressed the American Dream diminished and by the end of the century has almost ceased to exist. While in the past luck was only a part of the American Dream now it is seemingly all of it, with only being in the right place at the right time mattering. The play Death Of a Salesman by Arthur Miller is the quintessence of this idea of luck being preponderant influence on whether or not someone will fulfill their American dream. As of recent, many news articles and books have come out discussing the American Dream its its mere existence and its relevance in the limited opportunity cutthroat capitalist world that America now is. Death Of a Salesman which occurred in the late 1940s gives great insight into the transitional period between the “golden age” of the American Dream and its now impoverished state. Several characters in the play specially bridge time period with Willy and his son, Biff, and his brother Ben as well as others representing the new chapter of the American Dream where luck is the determining factor, and Charley and his son Bernard representing the previous phase of the Dream where effort and hard work resulted in success. Not only does Miller tell of those who “make it” but also of those who fail and the sheer devastation that causes.
Throughout the play Miller shows a lending towards the idea that the great American is dead and is only a matter of. The most obvious and predominant way he shows this is through the main characters of Willy, Biff and Willy’s brother Ben. Willy was a washed up old salesman whose American Dream had never been realized and now in his later years his world was crumbling. Willy wanted the American so badly in his head he created...