Inconsistent Delusions In 'Death Of A Salesman'

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Gauri Chawla Jacobs American Literature (7) March 30, 2023 Inconsistent Delusions 1950s American society was a time in which the effects of change on the American populace were large and unable to be ignored, so much so that two distinct works of literature emerged to depict them. Arthur Miller’s, The Death of a Salesman, portrays the life of a middle class, white family of the 1950s who feel betrayed by the hand they have been dealt; they were fed certain instructions on how to achieve success through a stable home and stream of income, and have yet to see these results from their steadfast heeding of these rules. Lorraine Hansberry’s, A Raisin in the Sun, demonstrates the difficulties that arose with being a Black family in the same time …show more content…

Beneatha points out how she has “never asked anyone…to do anything for [her].” Her brother, in turn, points out how she has not done “something for the family,” and thus deems her education as something that is not feasible; the cost of achieving it is so high it is almost impossible to achieve, especially when considering that the Younger family still needs to establish themselves in a stable home. Beneatha also demonstrates her need to be acknowledged as an individual by asking her brother to “forgive [her] for ever wanting to be anything at all!” Beneatha is thus forced to find methods for her family to be able to comfortably house themselves as well as provide for her education, something that Biff never needs to consider because his family has not been discriminated against as a result of their decision to live in a certain area; in fact, they were welcomed and expected to live there. Beneatha knows what she wants and struggles to find acceptance for her beliefs and thoroughly planned actions, viewing medicine as a way for her to make something of herself. After undergoing the obstacles of being a Black woman trying to attain higher education, her dream is squandered because her brother, Walter, gives the money meant for her education to a con man. Beneatha thus loses her one shot to create the future she has dreamed up for herself; unlike Biff, she does not have additional money to fall back on to ensure the fulfillment of her dream. Therefore, her dream is only brought to near fruition, because it is uncertain if she will ever have the resources to attempt to enroll in medical school. Hansberry is depicting that even those with a plan to seek higher ways of life may be unable to accomplish

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