Term paper on The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller is the play that coveys a story of Willy, the salesman, who pursues his American Dream all his life but eventually feels frustration and despair because his dream has turned out to be unattainable for him. In this regard, the play uncovers the story of his brother, Ben, who has succeeded once in his youth and gained a considerable wealth. Ben has become the model for Willy and, secretly, Willy dreams of becoming rich just like Ben but, unlike Ben, who was adventurist, Willy believes that he can achieve success and wealth through hard work. However, in spite of all his efforts and hard work, Willy gains nothing and eventually loses his job, which he dedicated all his life to. In such a way, The Death of a Salesman is the story of frustration caused by the pursuit of a dream, which was fruitless. The play uncovers the values of the main character, which he was devoted to all his life, and once as he realizes that his values are just an unachievable dream he feels frustration and commits a suicide.

At first glance, the Death of a Salesman is a tragic story but this story uncover the importance of values and frustration people suffer from, when they understand that their values they used to believe in were either erroneous or unachievable in the real life. In fact, I can refer to the experience of my father and my uncle. They are brothers and they always competed with each other. In a way, I could compare them to Willy and Ben, although there is no such a striking difference between them in terms of their social standing. Nevertheless, my uncle was always persistent in outpacing my father and he believed that he could reach a tremendous success without making much efforts. He often changed jobs and even started his business but all in all he failed and had to come to the decision my father has stick to since his youth to make a career focusing on the job he was best in. In such a way, my uncle eventually came to the point when he was disenchanted in his values and ideals just as Willy did. He was absolutely frustrated and after many years and numerous efforts to succeed fast, he came to the point, when he had to start the life, he attempted to escape but he had no other option but to turn to the routine job.

In this regard, the play refers to my experience as it shows the vanity of pursue of unattainable dreams as is the case of Willy and my uncle. Naturally, one should not end up as Willy did but the destruction of one’s values naturally leads to despair and profound frustration, especially if one spend all his life pursuing his dream as was the case of my uncle and Willy.

The Death of a Salesman focuses on the pursuit of the American dream of wealth and high social standing through hard work. The American dream is one of the fundamental values of the American society but, today, this concept is devaluated because people understand that the American dream is unattainable.

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