Death Of A Salesman

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade April 2001

download word file, 6 pages 5.0

In the play Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman has fallen victim to the American Dream. "Willy Loman has Fallen under the spell of the success dream"� (Clurman 132). This dream is to ultimately gain business success; and in order to gain this success, Willy believed one must be well liked. Willy states, "it's not what you say, it's how you say it-because personality always wins the day."� Willy strongly believed in this dream and passed it on to his sons; Willy wished his hopes and dreams for success onto his sons. Unfortunately, this theory did not work well in his life. As youngsters, his sons took to heart this advise, but as the play progresses, we see the downfall this advise has upon Willy and his son Biff.

This false message is clearly shown in Willy's values in the raising of his son Biff. Biff is physically strong, the captain of his football team, and handsome.

With this in mind, Willy believes that Biff does not have to work hard in his studies. Willy believes that Biff has the potential for advancement due to his popularity in school. Willy states, "A star like that, magnificent, can never really fade away."� However, as a result, Biff fails Math and does not graduate high school.

Willy presents this false dream to his son by emphasizing the idea of being popular. Willy states, "be popular and you will not want."� In turn, his son becomes a victim because he is presented with this false conception about succeeding. This misconception Willy portrays to Biff will eventually lead to Biff's failure in life.

In addition, Willy does not separate the real world from his business dreamworld; which causes conflict in his life. Willy "allows the dreams necessary to his work to start...