Death of a salesman Is society to blame when the installation of hope in the American Dream backfires? The major theme in Death of a Salesman was the pursuit of this dream. Miller details Willy Loman’s misguided quest of this dream. Arthur Miller’s depiction of the American Dream in Death of a Salesman was written in postwar America. At that time, the idea was more than just a phrase; it was a way of life. In efforts to further the reader’s understanding of the story, one must define the American Dream.
After World War II, the United States flourished economically. The idea of prosperity was the root of the American Dream. The idea of capitalism was reborn and by living in a capitalist society, everyone in America had a chance to become rich and successful. To put it simply, the American Dream was defined as “an American ideal of a happy and successful life to which all may aspire: … the American Dream represented a reaffirmation of traditional American hopes. ” Miller makes the reader realize the dream is a falsehood, because it is not for everyone.
In the play, Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is a perfect example of someone who is trying to pursue this dream. Based on the works of Karl Marx and his reversal of Hegelian philosophy, Marxism has developed into a political direction and a social theory. The social aspect contains two social classes, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. This type of capitalist society is relevant in the play by Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman. In the play, a dedicated salesman Willy Loman struggles to aid his family near his retirement.
Arthur Miller's Death Of Salesman Essay, Research Arthur Miller's Death Of Salesman Author Miller's plays are usually associated with real life issues filled with failure and disappointment. Death of a Salesman written in 1949 is no exception. The author's main character, Willy Loman, is a traveling salesman who spends his whole life time trying to find success based on looks and popularity. His ...
Inevitably, Willy is part of Marx’s proletariat classes and lies to cheat himself into believing he is of higher class. The influence of Willy’s lies is apparent in his oldest son Biff, who is able to analyze his father’s dream and attempts to gain more in life than that of the proletariat. By accepting the materialistic ideals of Marxism, Willy Loman and his son Biff, both struggle to make ends meet and find themselves stuck in the working class. Throughout his life, Willy Loman has seen much change in his business as a salesman but ultimately is stuck in the proletariat.
In the end, he cannot adapt to the effects of new technology and finally commits suicide. Willy works hard towards his retirement but falls short when his boss, Howard tells him he cannot give him an office job. Willy then stirs up a scene and shouts; “I averaged a hundred and seventy dollars a week in the year of 1928! And your father came to me-or rather, I was in the office here-it was right over this desk-and he put his hand on my shoulder” towards Howard in an attempt to get his job.
The way in which Willy represents himself proves Marx’s theory of the proletariat. In this situation Willy believes he is, “responsible for creating the wealth of society,” in this case he believes he helped make the business what it is today. Willy is devastated toward Howard’s actions and is left with, “no significant savings,” and cannot provide for his family any longer. Throughout his entire life, Willy always expected more.