American Dream In Death Of A Salesman

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American Dream in Death of a Salesman

American Dream in Death of a Salesman


Over his long career, Miller was consistently a passionate moralist, often as hard on himself for failing to live up to his principles as he was on his fellow Americans and mankind. His plays show a restless search for a moral center, testing the cherished values of democracy and freedom against the reality of history and our personal and collective failures to live up to our best selves. In what could serve well as his own epitaph Miller wrote, "Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets."

Thesis Statment

The book, Death of a Salesman revolves around the concept of dreaming and dreams. It disucsses the worth of the dreams and how it impacts the people. the main question of the book is that the characters of the play dream .


Willy is dreaming, in a literal sense, throughout much of the play. Explaining to his wife Linda why he has returned early, and empty-handed, from his selling trip, he acknowledges that his mind wanders too much for driving:

I was driving along, you understand? And I was fine. I was even observing the scenery. You can imagine, me looking at scenery, on the road every week of my life. But it's so beautiful up there, Linda, the trees are so thick, and the sun is warm. I opened the windshield and just let the warm air bathe over me. And all of a sudden I'm goin' off the road! I'm tellin' ya, I absolutely forgot I was driving. If I'd've gone the other way over the white line I might've killed somebody. So I went on again—and five minutes later I'm dreamin' again, and I nearly—He presses two fingers against his eyes. I have such thoughts, I have such strange thoughts. (14)

This is an important passage in setting up the way the tragedy will unfold. It is the audience's first indication that Willy is unable to continue his job as a traveling salesman, which he has followed for many years. Linda suggests in response that he ask the company to let him work in town; Willy, still proud at this point ("I'm vital in New England"), declines. Later, when he makes just this request, he is spurned on the basis of pure business calculations.

Conflicts Between Conformity And Individuality

Conformity and individuality are the two main themes that are presented in this book. These themes are followed by the concepts of traditions, stability, innovation and disruption. Conformity in the book is described by the main character of the book, Willy. He tries to conform and live according to what he thinks is the right way to live the American Dream.

Willy is drawn to death. It is learnt later that he has attached a little hose to the gas line in his basement and is flirting with the idea of suicide. At the end of the play he carries through with it, apparently by crashing ...
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