Informative Essay on Death of a Salesman

Last Updated: 06 Jul 2020
Essay type: Informative
Pages: 3 Views: 465

The “American dream” is the American idea of prosperity and success to any and all people, regardless of circumstances of birth or social class. All men are created equal, and therefor deserve equal rights to make a living and become successful in terms of wealth, love, happiness, and material possessions. In the case of Willy Loman, of Death of a salesman, he strongly believes in this dream, but unfortunately he doesn’t factor in hard work, but instead thinks he can achieve success in the business world by being “well liked” and “personally attractive”.

Willy’s superficial understanding of the American dream leads to insecurities and false hopes for himself and his sons Biff and Happy who also have a warped interpretations. The Death of a Salesman incorporates struggle for success, finding meaning in ones life and the reality of the life of Willy Loman. According to Willy, the life of a successful businessman consists of Being “well liked”, “personally attractive”, “respect”, “comradeship” and “Gratitude”.

Unfortunately in the world that he lives in, it boils down to hard work and keeping everything professional, “Today, it’s all cut and dried, and there’s no chance for bringing friendship to-or personality. ” - Willy Loman. The whole reason Willy wanted to become a salesman was because he realized that “selling was the greatest career a man could want. ” He was blinded by the american dream, and failed to realize his personal failure and betrayal of his family. Biff and Happy Loman (Willy’s sons) are products of Willy’s attempt at raising model sons.

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Both are lost, confused, men who are trying to please their father, but end up trying to hide/cover up their insecurities, faults, and false hopes by abusing alcohol, women and their families. Biff, unlike willy, is seeking the truth about himself, he is trying to break through the lies surrounding his family in order to come to terms with his own life. “And I never got anywhere because you blew me so full of hot air I could never stand taking orders from anybody! ” - Biff Loman.

Biff also witnessed Willy having an affair, which not only traumatized him, but also stripped him of his faith in his father and his ambitions for him. Happy is more so like Biff in the sense that he is full of Willy’s “hot air” but unlike Biff, he doesn’t have ambition to change his lifestyle or to seek the truth about himself. Instead makes an empty vow to avenge his father’s death “He fought it out here, and this is where I’m gonna win it for him. ” - Happy Loman, which will lead him to the same fate as his Willy.

Willy Loman tried his best to try and follow the “American dream”, but unfortunately that dream was dragged through abandonment and betrayal throughout his whole life. His blind faith in this dream led to his psychological decline throughout the final months of his life. In his delusion, Willy not only had reoccurring flashbacks that hindered his interactions with his family and others around him, but also caused him to re-imagine his deceased brother Ben. Willy began to rely on Ben’s advice, and continuously asked how Ben how he “did it”, “what’s the secret”.

His obsession with becoming wealthy and a successful businessman caused him to believe things that weren’t real. Ben’s only advice for Willy was that “The jungle is dark, but full of diamonds” and “I walked into the jungle, I was seventeen. When I walked out I was twenty-one. And by God, I was rich! ” The reality of the Death of a Saleman is that The “American Dream” is a great concept, and Willy Loman recognized what it takes to achieve success, but sadly his view of success becomes distorted and he is the product of his own insecurity.

In the end Willy chooses to commit suicide as a final act of the american dream, to try and use his life insurance to provide for his family and give them something that they can touch, something that is real. “I see it like a diamond, shinning in the dark, hard and rough, that I can pick up and touch in my hand. ” - Willy Loman. Willy come to understand, by the end, that as a salesman the product he sells is himself. And through Ben’s advice he ends up believing his neighbor, Charley’s advice, “after all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive”.

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Informative Essay on Death of a Salesman. (2017, May 09). Retrieved from

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