The Relationship of Wealth and Happiness
What is your definition of being successful? Americans seem to have two different definitions. Most Americans associate success with material things such as, a well paying job, a nice car, good-sized home, and a family. Other people associate success with happiness. Neither definition is right nor wrong, it is simply a matter of choice. This choice has always been the starting point for a lot of conflict in American households. The Loman family in the book Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, is a perfect example of how this life choice affects everyday families. The play remains an important classic because the choice between materialism and happiness is just as prevalent today as is was in the 40’s when the story was first told.
Willy Loman struggled with trying to reach a materialistic idea of success. He would never see himself as successful until he had enough money to support his family, and the lifestyle he dreamed of. While trying to achieve this goal, Willy did not treat the most important people in his life with love and respect. In the end, Willy was a very unhappy and over-worked man.
In Chris Jones’ article We are all Willy Loman he says “There were-- are -- millions of Willy Lomans in America.” I fully agree with this statement; I see parts of Willy in everyone around me. One person who fits this character rather well is a women who I have known my whole life and am very close with, her name is Mary. Mary grew up in a happy yet lower middle class family. She later graduated from college and went on to earn a masters degree. Ever since she graduated college she has has several jobs, all of which paying an above average salary. She got married, bought a house and had a few children. From an outsider looking at Mary’s life, you would call her a success.
In my eyes, I do not see Mary as a success. Mary has a bad relationship with almost every family member, and has completely lost any contact with...