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Critical Essay Drama The idea that any person can rise from humble beginnings to greatness is the basis of the American Dream Arthur Miller paints a harsh picture of this ideal in the drama Death of a Salesman The main character Willy Loman is a complex and tragic figure He is a man striving to hold onto what dignity he has left in a world that no longer values the beliefs he grew up with While society can be blamed for much of Willys misfortune he must also be blamed for his bad judgement disloyalty and his foolish pride Willy Lomans own delusions are a result of his failure to succeed in life He still believes he is popular respected and good-looking But at age sixty-three he is none of those When presented with a bill he knows he cannot pay Willy convinces himself that a sales trip to Hartford will solve his problems He vows to his wife Ill knock em dead next week Ill go to Hartford Im very well liked in Hartford 1809 However in those moments that he begins to realize the truth his wife Linda while understanding his situation supports his delusion She says to him youre the handsomest man in the world 1809 But the truth is being popular and good looking is not the key to success Success is achieved through hard work and perseverance The American Dream has long turned sour for Willy At the beginning of his life he remembers travelling in a wagon going westward His parents conquered the new frontier and succeeded His brother Ben Walked into a jungle and comes out the age of twenty-one and hes rich 1811 For a while the American Dream was alive in Willy too He helped stake out new territories by selling his goods his son Biff was going to a university with a scholarship and he had a home with no apartments closing in on
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