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Analysis of the Play ‘Death of a Salesman’

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According to the American Dream, Willy Loman is a failure. His true failure is that he does not cope with changing trends in the established system. According to American dream, success means that one has materials and gadgets from the latest innovations, dresses well and works in a well-furnished office (Miller 5). The definition of success by the American dream is not the only way for being successful. This is because having a business or job that brings income, which can satisfy ones basic needs, and having social, political, emotional and economic stability is some kind of success. In addition, the stories of Willy’s father, brother and son suggest that Willy’s destiny will never come true and thus will not achieve the American dream.

The author, Miller, creates a character who possesses carpentry skills because these skills are viewed as old fashioned and not part of the new system, which is characterized by innovations and materials. The word ‘better’ as used by Willy means that the grandfather had skills, which were adapted and acceptable to the new system. The American dream is not concerned in the involvement of manual laborers, but focuses mainly in the success of business and this forms the relationship with the American dream. By saying ‘little salary’, Linda meant that the employee was not ready to change but remained in the same position for a long time (Miller 17). A little salary cannot help in achieving the American dream and therefore no man needs a little salary. In conclusion, Willy will have been happier if he had not felt compelled to obtain material success because he could have enough money to take care and satisfy his family.


Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman: Certain Private Conversation in Two Acts and a Requiem. New York: Penguin Publishers, 1998. Print.

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