Death Of A Salesman The American Dream Analysis

906 Words 4 Pages
Untitled Unmastered

The “American Dream”, for a majority of the American population, is hardly a dream. Popular culture in the United States, for the last several decades, has defined success in a rather shallow sense: monetary wealth, a beautiful home in an upscale neighborhood, luxury vehicles, a beautiful family, and a life that, in simple terms, is “better” than anyone else’s. This materialistic spirit often promotes competition in a way that distorts one’s view of sustained happiness and how to obtain it. In Arthur Miller’s 1949 American tragedy Death of a Salesman, protagonist Willy Loman finds himself grappling with his identity as he struggles to pave a path to lasting fulfillment and satisfaction. Ultimately, his failure to capture
…show more content…
In Robinson’s writing, Richard Cory is admirably described as “a gentleman from sole to crown” (3) that “fluttered pulses” (7) when he spoke. Richard Cory was, in essence, the embodiment of what is widely accepted as the American Dream. His life was so outwardly desirable that it elicited envy from all that knew him: “We thought that he was everything / To make us wish that we were in his place” (11-12). It seems clear that Richard Cory and Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman were deeply separated in economic class and overall quality of life. Richard had acquired everything that Willy yearned for but could never quite grasp - money, women, popularity, and more. This stark contrast between the two poses the question of how two men of seemingly opposite backgrounds and characteristics can find themselves at identical destinations - suicide. Willy Loman and Richard Cory surely ended their lives for very different reasons. However, the stories of these two suicidal men can serve to point readers to a common theme regarding the American Dream: ultimate fulfillment and joy simply cannot be found in the acquisition of material wealth or superficial relationships and popularity. Willy spent his life chasing these things, and Richard Cory spent his living in them. If riches and fame aren’t enough for happiness, then …show more content…
For decades, the masses in America, similar to Richard Cory and Willy Loman, have searched for meaning in the chaos of wealth, popularity, and questionable “love” that have left them in a cloud of confusion and despair. A select few, however, have managed to find a sense of identity in something that goes much deeper than these materialistic obsessions. Like Atticus Finch, those few that have truly achieved their American Dream are those living in love and ultimate happiness in welcoming families and communities. These individuals may not have wealth to last generations, and they may not live in what American culture has defined as “luxury”, but they have certainly gained something much more important and enduring than these: a

Related Documents