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The American Dream in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller and Fences by August Wilson

Project id 1015666
Subject area Self Improvement
Document type Essay
Words 1455
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The American Dream is a common motif in literature. The American Dream as described by Webster is: an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and notably material prosperity. Egalitarianism is described in 2 manners: 1: a belief in human equality especially with regard to social, political, and economic rights and privileges as well as two: a social philosophy advocating the elimination of inequalities among individuals. To most, this sounds like the perfect society, however what occurs when the obsession takes away the really important things in a individual's life? In Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, physical, safety, love, admiration, and self-actualization, are all components necessary to function fully in society. Together With The American Dream, society has been obsessed with the physiological needs and therefore has difficulty moving to the next level. In literature more frequently than not, The American Dream doesn't work out to be quite what is expected. Back in Fences and The Death of a Salesman, The American Dream Gets much more of a nightmare. In these two pieces, it's obvious that the obsession with The American Dream pushes both chief characters to destroy any possibility that they or their nearest and dearest must attain the entire variety of needs. The protagonists in the two pieces become sterile and delusional, which prevents them from having any meaningful connections. Both pieces assert that when the quest for the social ideals becomes an obsession, and not only do they not realize their dream, they ruin the ones that they love through their bitterness and disillusion and create a cycle from which their nearest and dearest may not escape. The Death of a Salesman, written in 1949, Arthur Miller introduces Willy Loman, a sixty-three year-old failing salesman from Brook...

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