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Blog #2

After World War II ended many Americans sought out “The American Dream”. Families started settling down, living a traditional life with white picket fences. The play, “Death of a Salesman”, (turned into a movie) appealed to many Americans because they could relate to it. “Death of a Salesman” is a great study of the American Dream ideology. The main character, Willy Loman is a product of the growing capitalist society which has caused him to become obsessed with being successful. However, to him, success is measured by popularity and material wealth, similar to Americans during this time. Because of this, Willy Loman wasn’t as successful as he wanted to be. He ends up living in a world of reflection, afraid to face the present problems he has created for himself and his family.

Those that were worried about being successful could relate with Willy Loman’s ideology. For some, not having any success in the work-field meant turning to the social hierarchy. For Willy Loman, being well-liked was the definitive criterion of life success. The American dream of affluence became Willy’s dream.  In his sixties, Willy realized he never achieved any of his aspirations. Not everyone was as successful as they lead on. The story “Death of a Salesman” taught those that could relate to Willy not to lose sight of what they need to do to receive the perks of “The American Dream”.

Willy’s story was easily relatable to those in the 1940’s that weren’t as successful as other people. Although it is a tragedy, it puts many things into perspective. The movie “Death of a Salesman” reminded people that it took more than popularity to achieve the ideology of the American Dream. In the end at Willy’s funeral, when only Willy’s sons, wife, and two neighbors show up, Willy’s wife asks where all of his friends are? Thus proving that where you stand in the social hierarchy does not dictate your success in life. In the movie “Death of a Salesman”, those that were struggling to be successful in the 1940’s can relate to Willy Loman and his failure at an attempt to live the American Dream.



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  1. Kathleen
    October 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Great post, Marian and an excellent analysis. The American Dream ideology is still very prominent in our culture today and you applied it to Death of a Salesman quite skillfully. Please include a link to a review of the film in a comment. Thanks!

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