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An Analysis of Arthur Millers Death of a SalesmanWhen people accept an ideal to live by it can be a glorious and noble thing unless they become so obsessed with the ideal that it becomes a yolk and they are unable to realize their dream This is especially true for Arthur Millers play Death of a Salesman In this play Miller portrays a lower-middle class man Willie Loman respectively who lives by an ideal that ultimately is self-defeating Willie lived to pursue the American dream rather than living the American dream He pursed the ideal rather than living it and thus is unable to succeedWillie Loman in Death of a Salesman has lived his life in pursuit of the American dream Traditionally the American dream meant opportunity and freedom for all and Willie believed that However hard work could not earn him everything that he wanted or thought he deserved Willy judged himself and those around him by their material accumulation as is demanded by capitalism and the protestant work ethic The ethic demands accumulation and work as signs of favor in the eyes of god Thus in order to please god and himself he had to accumulate wealth and objects The consumer oriented society in which Willy lives will not allow him to live the American Dream Willy is fascinated by accumulating things His desire for goods makes him want objects that he neither needed nor could afford As he tries to live the American dream he venerates those who have been successful at doing so like Thomas Edison BF Goodrich and Ben his successful brother Furthermore he punished those who did not work towards that ideal or accomplish it such as Biff his son and most importantly himself The extreme to which he followed the dream brought him to disillusionment and lose sense of reality Willy created a reality for himself where he knocked em cold in Providence and slaughtered em in Boston
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