Death of a Salesman

The American Dream

One of the main themes in "Death of a Salesman" is the American dream. The drama shows a symbolic implication of the American Dream. The love for the book is contrasted to hard work. The American Dream as held by Biff being completely in contrast to that of Willy is a very crucial element of the book that needs to be well comprehended.  It is the desire of everyone to attain the American Dream as they live. Willy pushes his sons to strive for things they do not want. This shows the real character of Willy. Willy desires to be liked well and his desire is to be honorable; the motive of many people in attaining the American Dream. He is very desperate to make his son pursue similar goals although he has already failed in achieving them. He lives in illusions and dreams. For instance he says, "You take me, for instance.   I never have to wait in line to see a buyer" (Miller 21). This actually is not true about himself. He has failed in many occasions.

It is very much in the belief according to Willy that to be liked and attractive will get an individual to high places in America and would help in attaining the American Dream. This is what Willy advocates for and as far as his sons are concerned. Willy ignores the idea that hard work would propel him to where he desires to be in life. He lives in fantasies and wants the same for his sons. To be liked is his ultimate goal, something that many hope for in pursuit of happiness and the American Dream. The lifestyle as seen with Biff is not actually in line with what Willy defines as success. There is still much required of him to settle down and get a job of a salesman. This has no connection with Willy's belief. The American Dream has troubled many people including Willy. He is not ready to be offered with a job. He says, "What the hell are you offering me a job for?"(Miller 29). Ideally, these are the fruitless struggles and illusions of achieving the American Dream which Miller presents as a world of fantasy.