Death of a Salesman Essay

Words: 989
Pages: 4

Andrew Fishman American Prison
Willy Loman, the main character in Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman, wants to live the American dream. He is consumed with his own misguided beliefs regarding success, which causes his life to be similar what Wyoming Senator Craig L. Thomas said about the American Dream: “You stuff Someone into the American dream, and it becomes a prison.” Willy’s obsession with the American Dream, believing that being well liked equates with success, keeps both he and his sons in a state of emotional immaturity. These beliefs causes the American Dream to be a prison. The Loman family’s American Dream becomes their prison, constructed of deception and false pride. They cannot escape their immature behavior of
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Another example of him talking about his dream is when he is talking with Happy in their bedroom and Biff says “Listen, why don’t you come out West with me”(23). It is evident that Biff knows what he really wants to do but he is stuck in the American Dream prison so he cannot live out his dream. Biff finally realizes what he wants at the end of the play in the restaurant scene when he states “ I stopped in the middle of that building and I saw - the sky. I saw the things that I love in the world. The work and the food and the time to sit and smoke. And I looked at the pen and said to myself, what the hell am I grabbing this for? Why am I trying to become what I don't want to be? What am I doing in an office, making a contemptuous, begging fool of myself, when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am!”. This is the moment when Biff finally escapes the prison. Biff escapes the prison by realizing his dream and finally telling his father what it was so he could chase it.
The pursuit of the American dream can inspire ambition. It can transform a person and cause him to become motivated and hardworking, with high standards and morals. Or as in this case, it can tear a person down, to the point of near insanity that results from the wild, hopeless chase after the dream. This chasing of the dream causes you to feel imprisoned because of the American Dream. They feel imprisoned because