Death Of A Salesman And The Glass Menagerie Analysis

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“The American dream is the largely unknowledgeable screen, in front of which all American writings plays itself out, the screen of the perfectibility of man” (American Dreams: Dialogues in U.S. Studies). It is the belief that anyone, despite of where they were born or what class they were into, can attain their own version of success in a society through sacrifice, risk-taking and hard work and not by chance. It is noticeable that Arthur Miller’s Death of A Salesman and Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie share a similar theme in the search of the renewed American Dream. In both plays the playwrights portray the American Dream, as that where an individual could achieve financial success and material comfort but fail in the process. In…show more content…
“An air of [his] dream clings to the place a dream rising out of reality.” This quote from the very first stage directions shows how he refuses to let go of this dream despite the contradictions. The writer also gives it a sense of importance by personifying it and bringing the dream itself to life to show how it has taken over Willy’s life. For Willy the America Dream is popularity. He lived his whole life believing that he will rise to the top, in business and in life, only by being likeable. Willy’s idea of the American Dream was influenced mainly through the life of a man named Dave Singleman. Willy idolized the respected lifestyle Dave managed to accomplish and after his death he was “remembered and loved by so many different people.” This made Willy believe that it was something he could achieve. Therefore, Willy was trying to repeat the success of another person, and did not try to go after his own, but he even failed to attain a false…show more content…
Tom on the other hand goes along the same path as Biff. Tom is the only one who is utterly dissatisfied with his life. Tom struggles most with his role as the employee and caretaker of the family. He expresses that “Man is by instinct a lover, a hunter, a fighter, and none of those instincts are given much play at the warehouse” bringing to the surface how his work keeps him from expressing himself and living and enjoying his own life. ‘Tom believes he can fill the void in his life and suppress his desire for something more. Tom’s aspiration to change his situation is ultimately hindered by this perpetual escape’

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