Death of a Salesman is considered by numerous to be the quintessential contemporary literary work on the American dream, a term produced by James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book, The Legendary of America. This is rather ironic, considered that it is such a dark and annoyed play. The concept of the American dream is as old as America itself: the country has actually typically been seen as an empty frontier to be explored and conquered. Unlike the Old World, the New World had no social hierarchies, so a male could be whatever he desired, rather than merely having the alternative of doing what his daddy did.
The American Dream is closely tied up with the literary works of another author, Horatio Alger. This author grew famous through his allegorical tales which were always based on the rags-to-riches model. He highlighted how through hard work and determination, impoverished kids could make a lot of money and gain regard in America. The most popular of his books is the Ragged Dick series (1867 ). Many historical figures in America were thought about Alger figures and compared to his model, especially including Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller.
But the Horatio Alger design of the American dream is not what’s represented in Death of a Salesman. Instead of being a direct representation of the idea, and even a direct critique of it, Salesperson challenges the effects of the American dream. This myth exists in our society – how does the frequency of this myth alter the method which we live our lives?
Miller had an unpredictable relationship with the concept of the American dream. On one hand, Bernard’s success is a presentation of the idea in its perfectionist and most optimistic form. Through his own effort and academic success, Bernard has ended up being a well-respected legal representative. It is paradoxical, however, that the character most undoubtedly linked to the American dream, who boasts that he went into the jungle at age seventeen and came out at twenty-one a rich guy, actually developed this success in Africa, instead of America. There is the possibility that Ben created his own success through strength instead of ingenuity. The other doubt cast on the American dream in Death of a Salesman is that the Loman males, in spite of their appeal and good intents, have not managed to succeed at all. Miller shows that the American dream leaves those who require a bit more neighborhood assistance, who can not advocate for themselves as highly, in the dust.