The American Dream In The Lost Father In Death Of A Salesman

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The American Dream is something that everyone desires, from the immigrant to those born in this country, however our definition of what it is sometimes varies. Growing up in the projects of New York City, I viewed it as I 'm sure many Americans do, having financial and family stability (good job, wife, kids, house and dog). This is what was presented to us through the media fostering the desire to strive to achieve it. The terms creator James Truslow Adams in his novel, “The Epic of America” defines the American Dream as: “That dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement…." (Truslow). However, this expectation and often failure to obtain it …show more content…
In “The Lost Father in Death of a Salesman” Charlene Fix says that “Willy admires him as “success incarnate,” and as one who “knew the answers,” (Fix). Ben’s success was all that Willy wanted for himself and his sons Biff and Happy. He is presented to the audience as having been a wealthy man that made his riches from diamonds. He explains, “when I was seventeen I walked into the jungle, and when I was twenty-one I walked out. (He laughs.) And by God I was rich” (act I). For Willy, being rich, successful and well-liked epitomized the American Dream which he had never truly achieved but longed for. This longing was so intense and extreme that it pushed him to the point in which his thoughts became unstable. Throughout the play he veers in and out of a false reality with the past and presents simultaneously occurring and reoccurring in his confused mind. This causes him to have contradictory thoughts and statements through the entire …show more content…
He says that in Hartford he is “well-liked” but then says “the trouble is that they don 't take him” but laugh at him” (Act 1). This is a harsh reality for Willy to accept because of the great value in which he places on it. In his fantasized American Dream, he is well liked because that was very important to him because for him it was a large part of success. In Bert Cardullo’s "Death of a Salesman, Life of a Jew: Ethnicity, Business, and the Character of Willy Loman” he explains that in the 1930’s and 40’s “his belief that there was a link between likability or personal attractiveness and success was delusional” (Cardullo). In the following flashback conversations with his sons he makes this

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