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Word Count: 1,076
In Arthur Millers Death of A Salesman the shallow ideals of the American Dream are explored and come to a ruinous close Willy Loman is a salesman who believes that personal attractiveness and likeability will ultimately lead to the dream of financial success He searches metaphorically for the dream wandering the open roads as a salesman but he has little idea that hard work is the true foundation of the American Dream The glittering faade of this dream is explored in the play with the use of three symbols machines garden seeds and diamonds Miller uses diamonds to illustrate how brittle Willys formula for achieving the American Dream really is Diamonds are tangible proof of success in the eyes of Willy Loman They represent a verification of triumph in achieving the American Dream for both himself and his family Willy often seeks advice about success in imagined conversations with his dead brother Ben and even from his pesky neighbor Bernard asking How did you do it Whats the secret whats the answer He is always looking for a quick to his lack of success not realizing that once must work to succeed In Act I Willys delusions advance his misconception that success happens instantly by luck or some form of great skill and he frequently recalls Bens line When I was seventeen I walked into the jungle and when I was twenty-one I walked out And by God I was rich At the end of Act II Ben gives Willy some different and foreboding advice saying The jungle is dark but full of diamonds and A diamond is rough and hard to the touch Ultimately a diamond is like Willys approach to life fixed and unchanging Willy refuses to change and adapt with time and therefore becomes unsuccessful and cannot survive in the ever-changing world His idea of success is wrapped up in material goods which are cold and hard and ultimately distant and unsatisfying
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