American Explored Depicted in Death Term Paper

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To make matters worse, he never even considers that he might not be as good as he thinks so he never seriously considers doing anything else. Willy does not know when to cut his losses and let go. Charley gives us an accurate description of Willy when he says, "For a salesman, there's no rock bottom to the life. He don't put a bolt to a nut, he don't tell you the law or give you medicine. He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back -- that's an earthquake" (1113). Charley's words capture the dreamy Willy. He understood Willy's blind nature and though he tried to help him, he knew it was worthless.

Willy is also an example of what not to do when pursuing the American Dream because he cannot accept responsibility for his life and, therefore, cannot take his life in a new direction. He has a problem with lying not only to himself but lying to everyone else as well. He looked for excuses that gave him a way out. For example, to explain why things are not going well for him, he tells Linda, "The trouble was that three of the stores were half-closed for inventory in Boston. Otherwise, I woulda broke records" (1046). In addition, he tells her the people he works with "don't seem to take to me" (1047). People laugh at him and he is not clear why. He tells Linda his co-workers "just pass me by. I'm not noticed" (1047). Here we see that Willy has moments of enlightenment - if he would only take them one step further and think about the rest of his life. Instead, he only mumbles about it and carries on with life as usual.

Arthur Miller explores the American Dream by examining what happens to it when things do not always work out the way we think they should. As it is with life, things rarely go as we plan and how we respond to life's curve balls is what makes us who we are. Willy did not deal well with the challenges that life presented to him. Instead, he decided to look away from reality and live in denial. This cost him his dream and his life. Death of a Salesman emphasizes the American Dream from the perspective of that failed dream and what we might learn from Willy in order not to end up as he did.

Works Cited

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. An Introduction to Literature. Sylvan Barnet, ed. Boston: Little,…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. An Introduction to Literature. Sylvan Barnet, ed. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. 1985. pp. 1030-1114.

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