Death Of A Salesman And The Great Gatsby Analysis

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The illusionary ideals within the American Dream

The American Dream often represents the values where ambitions and hard work is present. It does also represent the possibilities a person has to become successful in life, no matter what the surrounding circumstances are. The American Dream indicates that one can be accomplished and successful if one works hard and has the desire to succeed in life. (Fossum & Roth, 1981, p. 6-7) However, is this the accurate reality of the American Dream? In Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, we get to witness how the two novels play out the ideals of the American Dream in very different ways. On the other hand, the protagonists in the two novels, Willy Loman and Jay Gatsby, can both perhaps be considered as victims that have been destroyed by the American Dream. Having said that, we will throughout this essay elaborate on and compare the different ideals and conflicts that arise in both Death of a Salesman and The Great Gatsby considering the American Dream.

In both Death of a Salesman and The Great Gatsby, we get to experience the main protagonists
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However, they both seem to have a strong belief that materialism will lead them to a happy and fulfilled life in some way. Throughout the play, Willy seems to believe that by having proper materialistic objects, people will like him more and he will be viewed as a respected and successful man. For instance, if we take a look at the repetitive use of brand names throughout the play; Chevrolet, General Electrics, Studebaker etc., it seems like they portray the material success that Willy so desperately desires to achieve. To me it seems as if Willy is fooled by the illusionary ideals within the American Dream that owning such materialistic items automatically equals being successful and being fulfilled with happiness
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