Books and Movies Reviews

The american dream theme in death of a salesman

What is the American Dream? Some would say to be wealthy. Others would say the American Dream is being able to obtain and support a family. At times, people struggle to achieve the American Dream forced upon them. In Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller portrays the American Dream through symbols and the characters Willy and Biff Loman.
By using the different symbols seeds, diamonds, and the Loman house Miller presents the theme of the American Dream. Seeds symbolize Willy's desperate attempt to prove the worth of his toils as a father and salesman to achieve the American Dream. The seeds also symbolize Willy trying to leave something for his family. He says, "Nothing's planted. I don't have a thing in the ground."(Miller, Act 2; 96)Despite Willy's venture to nurture the seeds he fails to make them grow. This failed attempt parallels Willy's relationship with Biff. Willy blames himself because Biff hasn't done anything with his life. The seeds he plants are just like how he continually plants false hopes, both will die and never come to flourish (Murphy and Abbotson 4). Diamonds symbolize Willy's downfall as a salesman. While his brother Ben flourishes in wealth Willy struggles to put food on the table and pay bills. Ben states for the second time how he walked right into the jungle and came out rich four years later (Miller, Act 1; 36). Willy seems to regret not going with him and achieving financial security in order to have a part in the American dream. Willy worked hard until his death to try and get everything paid off, especially their house. Ironically it wasn't until after his death that his wife, Linda, made the last payment. The Loman's house is an important symbol of the gruesome work Willy went through to try and support his family. "It [the Loman home] is where he and his wife raised a family, that icon of the American way, and reached for the golden glitter o…


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