What Is Willy's Faith In Achieving The American Dream

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The play Death of a Salesman was written in 1949 by Arthur Miller. In the play, the main character, Willy Lowman, is a traveling salesman that puts all of his faith in achieving the “American Dream”. Willy believes that being popular, good looking, and well-liked by others will make him successful, wealthy, and happy. Willy instills this same belief into his two sons, Biff and Happy, from a very early age. As a teenager, Biff idolized his father and tried to make him proud by doing well in football. Biff’s idea of his father suddenly changed when Biff discovered his dad cheating on his mom. His entire outlook of life changed, and suddenly he no longer cared about his future in football or college. Willy raised Biff to think that being popular would get him further than having good grades: “Bernard can get the best marks in school y’understand but in the business world, y’understand, you are going to be five times ahead of him. That’s why I thank almighty God you’re both built like Adonises. Because the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who created personal interest, is that man that gets ahead.”…show more content…
Biff finally confronts Willy by telling him that he was trying to become someone that he doesn’t really want to be. He explains to Willy that they are both “a dime a dozen” and don’t stand out amongst anyone else: “I am not a leader of men, Willy, and neither are you. You were never anything but a hard-working drummer who landed in the ash can like all the rest of them! …I’m not bringing home any prizes any more, and you’re going to stop waiting for me to bring them home!” (Miller 1299). Biff tells Willy to stop expecting big things from him because he is happy being who he is. Biff starts out in the play as lost but shows growth and maturity by finally accepting what really makes him feel
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