Comparison Of The American Dream In Death Of A Salesman And Fences

1079 Words 5 Pages
The American dream was an ideal that every U.S. citizen, no matter their race or social status, would have equal opportunity for success. The American dream was a beacon of hope for those who had nothing left in their life going for them. The American dream inspired and improved the lives of many to chase after what they truly wanted and needed. For two men, however, the American dream did not live up to its name. From the plays Death of a Salesman and Fences, the characters Willy Loman and Troy Maxson are two fathers who became tragic heroes that caused their own downfall due to their different outlooks on the American dream. Although both Willy and Troy had plenty in common, one man put too much faith in the American dream, while the other …show more content…
Willy had a lot of expectations for his son, Biff. Through his flashbacks it is evident that Willy wanted Biff to become a football player because he thought football would take Biff far. Willy only wanted Biff to focus on football, and did not really care for Biff’s schooling. Unfortunately, Biff had to drop the idea of pursuing football because he did not get grades good enough to participate. Years later when Biff came back to the city, Willy had hopes that Biff could get into business with Bill Oliver rather than living life on a farm like Biff wants. Willy was the type of man who believed that the American dream could be achieved through the connections he had and the people he knew. He even told his sons when they were younger, “I’ll show you all the towns… And they know me, boys, they know me up and down New England” (Wilson 981; act 1) as he wanted to prove to his sons that as long as you know the right people, you can succeed in life and achieve the American dream. Troy, however, believed the exact opposite of Willy. Cory wanted to play football, but Troy did not want him to. Troy wanted Cory to focus only on school and work. Troy told Cory “the colored guy got to be twice as good before he get on the team” (Wilson 1292; act 1) because he wanted to show Cory the reality of their world. As a black man in society, Troy believed that big dreams could not be reached. Troy believed that the American Dream needed to be achieved through hard work, and not through the connections Cory had with his coach. As a scholarship was just handed to Cory, Troy thought that it would mislead him and ruin his life just like baseball ruined Troy’s

Related Documents