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Word Count: 2,607
In America in the 1940s material success was preferable to anything else Some people in the land of opportunities were experiencing immense prosperity and unprecedented wealth as social processes were occurring It was the time when the war between capitalism and communism was occurring ie The Cold War hence the era of McCarthy and un-Americanism Here was too the time where the majority of citizens in the USA believed in the American Dream which is the pursuit of material prosperity - that people work more hours and harder to get bigger rewards financial freedom and the fruits of prosperity for their families It also can be defined as an American ideal to a happy and successful life to which all may aspire to The 1940s was also a period of mass unemployment and of an economic depression The dream thus represented a reaffirmation of traditional American hopes in this time period for its citizens Through Millers play Death of a Salesman the relationships between Willy and his two sons Biff and Happy and Charlie and his son Bernard are used to reflect upon how significant the dream was for many Americans and how it leads to either financial and spiritual harmony or distress or even total devastation Willy believes wholeheartedly in what he considers the promise of The American Dream - that a well-liked and personally attractive man in business will unquestionably acquire the material comforts offered by modern American life Oddly his obsession with the superficial qualities of attractiveness and likeability is at odds with a more gritty more rewarding understanding of the American Dream that identifies hard work without complaint as the key to success Willys interpretation of likeability is superficial--he childishly dislikes Bernard because he considers Bernard a nerd Willys faith in his underdeveloped version of the American Dream leads to his rapid psychological decline when he is unable to accept the difference between the Dream and his own life
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