There is no doubt, that in society, everyone has a role. A man?s role, for instance, is to provide for his family by going to work and bringing home money. The American dream brainwashes society and fools it into thinking it is easy to be successful and happy in life. In the play ?Death of a Salesman? by Arthur Miller, Willie Lowman builds himself up to the point where he is the cause of his own downfall. Society is at fault for corrupting and exploiting Willy almost as much as Willy is at fault for his own tragedy.

Willie?s outlook and expectations on life was warped and contributed to his tragedy. Willie Lowman was a man with one vision on his mind. The vision was the ?American Dream.? Williw wants success and happiness out of life. Like many people Willie wants to own his own home as well as a house in the country. He says, ?You wait, kid, before it?s all over we?re going to get a little place out in the country, and I?ll raise some vegetables, a couple of chickens….? Willie knows he can?t afford a house in the country, but he still tries to convince himself that he can. Also Linda doesn?t burst his bubble either. Linda says, ?You?ll do it yet, dear.? By saying that Linda is just contributing to Willy?s downfall.

The American Dream that Willie believes in, goes bad. For instance, as soon as he fully pays for anything, it breaks on him. Willie says, ? Once in my life I would like to own something outright before it?s broken! I?m always in a race with the junkyard! I just finished paying for the car and it?s on it?s last legs. The refrigerator consumes belts like a goddam maniac….?(p.1196) This is just typical of Willy?s life. Nothing ever works out like it is supposed to. The American Dream is just that, a dream. Reality is much different.

Not only is Willie at fault for his own downfall society is also at fault for corrupting and exploiting Willy. One way is that big business is eating up small business men. What that means is that Willie is the small business man who is used to traveling and making sales. The new big business? did away with traveling salesman and put them behind desks making phone calls. Now, Howard had no use for Willie so he let Willie go. Howard says,? I don?t want you to represent us. I?ve been meaning to tell you for a long time now?(p.1202) Willie feels as though he has been used for so many years and now when he needs help, Howard is turning his back on him. This totally crushes Willy and he completely loses all hope in life after that.

Technology has also not helped Willie move Forward and become financially sound. Technological advancements left Willie in the dark. This becomes known when Howard shows Willie the tape recorder. Willie doesn?t know what it is, or how it works. This shows the division between the rich and poor class also. Howard mentions his maid and how much the tape recorder costs. Willie can?t afford a maid or even the tape recorder, but he still lies to himself , at age 62, and says he?s going to get one.

This is a tragedy of an individuals own making, as well as society being at fault for exploiting and corrupting Willie. Willie continued to lie to himself and convince himself that he could follow the American dream. He was a failure though. The capitalistic system in which Willie believed in killed him in the end. The myth of working hard and good things come applies to Willie. Willie got shunned by Howard after working so hard for so many years and now had no job or anything to show for it.


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