Willy's Wrong Dreams in Death of a Salesman Essay

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“He had all the wrong dreams. All, all, wrong.” Why were these dreams ‘Wrong’; analyse what the ‘right’ dreams would have been. Base your answer entirely on the text.

Willy had quite a few ‘wrong’ dreams and they could have turned into ‘right’ dreams if his perception of the American dream was right. Dave Singleman was the man who sowed the false umbrella dream in Willy’s mind. This umbrella dream was the American dream, for all the smaller dreams Willy came up with, started with the pursuit of the American dream. However Willy’s perception of this dream was warped and therefore the rest of his dreams turned out wrong. His version of the American dream was to be able to achieve success and wealth through being well liked and popular,
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Instead of him futilely becoming a salesman he should have rather become something that he would enjoy, be content in and most of all be skillful in. He should have dreamt of becoming the best handyman or carpenter. It is apparent that Willy found fulfillment in repairing and building things like with the ceiling, where there is hint of enthusiasm and wanted recognition for his work when he asked Charley if he saw the ceiling he put up. Charley responded by saying, “Yeah, that’s a piece of work…How do you do it?”[pg.34] ‘Piece of work’ insinuates the fact that the ceiling is so skillfully and excellently done that it can be considered a piece of work. Another example where Willy expressed pride and where he wanted to prove to his brother Ben what he can do, is when he told his boys to run and get sand so they can “rebuild the entire front stoop right now!”. The phrase ‘right now’ entails Willy’s willingness to build the stoop at that very moment without hesitation. Even at the end of the play Willy resorted to working in the garden at night to make him feel better about his sons abandoning him at the restaurant, thus another instance revealed that handiwork should have been his life’s ambition and not selling.

Looking further into and taking Willy’s version of the

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