Compare/Contrast Willy Loman (Death of a Salesman) and Walter Lee Younger (a Raisin in the Sun)

2831 Words Apr 12th, 2011 12 Pages
“May I never wake up from the American dream.” Carrie Latet describes the most sought after dream: the dream of a house surrounded by a white picket fence, the dream people work their entire lives for, the dream people fight wars for: the American dream. However, America’s rise to industrialism in the 19th and 20th centuries replaced this dream with the desire to get rich fast. This change led people to believe that it is possible, common even, to obtain wealth rapidly; yet this is not the case. Sometimes, when an individual is unable to acquire such extreme wealth, he create a sense of false reality for himself, his common sense is blurred, and he sees opportunities where there are none. Characters Walter Lee Younger and Willy Loman are …show more content…
As the play nears the end, Willy is faced with a decision. He knows that he will not be able to work much longer, and that at some point, he will have to rely on his sons. Willy also realizes that he has nothing to pass down to his sons. The solution he comes up with is suicide. Willy determines that this proposition is legitimate because it benefits his whole family. While talking with Ben, Willy justifies his decision by saying, “[Linda’s] suffered. . . Remember, it’s a guaranteed twenty-thousand-dollar proposition” (125-126). When Biff confronts him, Willy comes to an astonishing realization: “Biff – he likes me!” (133). This only further deepens Willy’s desire to commit suicide, which would allow his family to collect the insurance money. However, the real reason for Willy’s tragic end is his static personality. His refusal to see the world as it is and his refusal to change means that he is veiled by his distorted vision of life forever. Willy is never able to break through his illusion, truly believing that he is more valuable dead than alive. Finally, the decision is made and Willy commits suicide. “The car speeds off . . . moving away at full speed. . . . The music crashes down in a frenzy of sound, which becomes the soft pulsation of a single cello string” (136). The rest of the Loman family is left alone, without the insurance money. As Charley sums up at the funeral, “He had the wrong dreams. All, all, wrong” (138). Willy died

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