American Dream In Arthur Miller's Death Of Salesman

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Since its inception America has been viewed as a land of opportunity and a land of freedom, a land in which anyone can make it big and achieve their wildest dreams. Many have come to America’s shores in search of this prosperity, some have succeeded and some have failed. The cycle of people trying and failing to achieve their American Dream is one that has disenfranchised some, however this issue has existed in the past as it does in the present. For example, Arthur Miller’s Death of Salesman tells the tale of Willy Loman, American salesman and father of two sons who is desperately trying to achieve the American Dream for his family. When the play was published in 1949, just after the end of World War II and at the dawn of one of the most prosperous …show more content…
Today, almost half of millennials believe that the American Dream is dead (Meyer). Millennials suffer from many problems which didn’t exist for previous generations and the current situation for America’s young adults looks almost like the complete opposite of that which those who grew up in the 1950’s experienced. In place of prosperity and an economic boom, America has recently been faced with recession and slow recovery. However, it is not just millennials that believe that the American Dream is out of reach. A recent survey of affluent investors found that about 55% of them believed that the American Dream was no longer in reach, another survey found that 62% of Baby Boomers believe similarly, that the American Dream is unobtainable (Schiffman). A large factor in the decline of the American Dream is believed to be the decline of the American family, as in the 1950’s only about 20% of the population were living in single parent families compared to the staggering 60% of the population that are in single parent families today (Irvine). The decline of the American family has also seen a correlation with declining academic achievement and a widening income gap based on academic achievement (Irvine). Part of the problem that America faces is that its citizens are largely unhappy according to recent research in which it was found that only 1 in 3 Americans are “very happy” (Gregoire). It was also found in the same study, however, that happiness correlated with age and stress levels and that older, retired people were more likely to be happy than young people, desperate for a job to pay off their student loan debt. It would seem that the modern American Dream largely suffers from a poor economic environment which has led to unhappy people and people losing faith in the American

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