The play "Death of A Salesman" was written by the world renowned playwright Arthur Miller. Miller discusses the american dream within this play, through the perspecitve of a family of four. This family consists of Willy the father, Biff and Happy the sons, and Linda the mother. Early within the play it becomes very clear that Willy is quite unhappy with Biff's failures in life. He critisizes his son, accusing him of being lazy. Through a daydream, it comes to fruition that Biff is only following in his father's footsteps. Trying to be more liked by peers rather than academically successful, Biff is careless in school. Willy allows himself to be put out of touch with reality, turning a blind eye to peoples real opinions and his actual economic situation. Subconciously, Willy realizes his shortcomings and in turn, takes his failures out on those around him such as Linda. Subsequently, Willy's failures slowly derail both his internal and external emotions. He begins to talk to himself, living in a state of delirium, along with his wife who transfers her anger to her kids. Sadly, amongst this turmoil, Willy gets fired from his job. From lying to his family to cheating on his wife, Willy makes mistake after mistake, destroying both his life and outlook on the American Dream. These same mistakes also drag his entire family down with him, bringing about much anger and lying amongst them. Overall, this play really shows how the American Dream way of life is not given, but rather earned with honesty and hard work. By breaking the play down and analyzing sections, it becomes clear that the play discusses the important and honorable values one must follow to be successful both in the work force and at home with their families. Upon the novel's conclusion, Willy's failures provoke him to take his own life.
1) How hard is it for kids to get out of their parents mold and become their own person? Within this play we see that Biff and Happy act similarly to their father, even though they realize it is wrong. Can kids ever truly break this mold and change how they act?
2) The "American Dream" means something a little different to everyone. To Willy it means to be both economically set, while still being very popular. What does it mean to you?