In earlier years the American dream is what everyone lived for. So many get rich schemes to come out on top was the plan. Like the music industry with Joe Jackson, his American dream was his kids and the music industry. He fought so hard and worked even harder for his children to come out on top. It worked and now his last name is the biggest household name when it comes to music. Although in Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, he conveys a message about trying to secure the American dream through Willy Loman using his family as a pawn in his plans, and also losing his sanity while doing so, which eventually led to Willy’s demise.
Arthur Miller attended the University of Michigan, where he began writing plays as a young freshman and also studied Greek literature and earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1938 (‘Built Like Adonises’). His many works of fiction during a career that lasted almost seventy years novels, plays, and short stories are justly revered for their ironic and multilayered meanings (‘Built Like Adonises’) . Miller gives him some knowledge of western literature and a few of its primal stories and themes (‘Built Like Adonises’).
In Death of a Salesman Willy Loman goes throughout the play zoning in and out of reality and the real world. He is having the fight of his life because he wants to live the American Dream, but it is truly breaking his family apart. His two sons Biff and Happy, and also his wife is up for an intense ride. More importantly Biff is getting the most problems from his father, because he was supposed to be the meal ticket for the family. Willy thought of as many get rich schemes as he can because he wanted to be rich like his brother. Biff is the only one that had something going for his self. In one of the flashbacks you can see Biff in his prime as the high school football star. In this particular flashback, Biff is seen throwing the ball around with his father and brother. The neighbor comes out to let Biff know, that he needs to study because he is on the brink of failing math. Biff would not listen and continued to play out in the yard. Biff not only was failing classes, he also was stealing (Miller, Arthur).
Eventually Willy goes on a trip to sale as usual, but he ends up in his hotel room with his mistress. Biff ended up coming to meet his father, so they could meet with the teacher about Biff’s failing grades. After short conversation Biff finds out that there is another woman there because she reveals herself. Willy kicks the mistress out of the hotel room and gives her two pairs of stockings that is supposed to be for his wife. The son is so hurt by the actions of his dad, that they get into a big fight in the middle of the room, and then Biff storms off. His football career is ruined, because he fails the class (Miller, Arthur). This little encounter puts a strain on the father son duo, because of how Willy continues to mistreat his wife even after being caught in the act. He is trying so hard to be something he is not, by living a double life wasting money on women instead of providing for his family. The family is already behind on bills, and Willy isn’t really making any sales.
Later on in the story though, Willy tries to use Biff again to make money since he is having trouble. Willy gets so down that it shows his previous attempts at trying to take his own life. His wife is hurt because no matter how hard she tries to cater to Willy and make him happy things just get worse and worse. Linda tries to be a peacemaker for all of the boys, but she just can’t seem to get them to get along which is slowly tearing the family apart. Happy does not really seem to care for Willy because Biff is the favorite child, and that alone causes more rift in the Loman family.
Life in the 1940’s was not as we see times of today. It was not until the later 40’s when things were popping again. Door-to-door salespeople has to contend with the up and coming world of great technology. People had all kind of big dreams for themselves and their families. Some were brought to fruition and some died before being seen to the end. Door to door salesman were usually the head of their households and their income was the only one they had, so the name of their game was to hustle to out sale the other salesmen with their charisma. Willy put himself on a very high pedestal and that pedestal did come crumbling down.
However, Willy was failing as a great salesman and Mr. Miller had Willy living in a cloud that was really unsuccessful. Knowing Willy was the breadwinner of his household mad Miller look bad(Miller, Arthur). Willy has a very understanding and patient wife which in these days has shenanigans would not be tolerated by wives of today. Throughout the entire play he would go back and forth in time and it leaves a lot to your thought process. It takes a lot to make a dream come true and with Willy’s thought process it makes it even harder to accomplish the dreams he had set forth for his boys, Biff and Happy. Selling merchandise these days has fierce competition compared to the 1940’s and 1950’s. They kind of remind me of Edith and Archie Bunker and their meager way of living. Willy recalled the death of a real salesman as he called it when an 84-year-old salesman/colleague could pick up a phone and make a call and get sales in 31 states while wearing his greenhouse slippers and that’s the way he died in his green velvet slippers probably making a call to one of his clients (Miller, Arthur). Willy wanted his sons to be successful in whatever they did but he was never satisfied with the careers that they had chosen and always complained about it. He never complimented them on anything. He also complained about how his wife Linda did everything. I guess Willy was the kind of man that wanted everything to be perfect and his family’s life was far from perfect.
At the end of the story, Biff Loman he former all-star quarterback and all-around golden boy of his senior class, announces much the same intentions (“All I want is Out There”). After the death of his father, Biff will say goodbye once and for all to the crowded, noisy city that he never loved, never wanted to live in or work in as a grown man (“All I want is Out There”). He tried for years to escape the urban East and all that it represents to him, but he could not because of his father’s dreams (“All I want is out”). In the end, Biff will “go back to Texas”, this time for good, and once he is “out there” amid the horses, the cattle, the freedom, and the big skies, he will finally live out the kind of life— a physically demanding one— that he has desired ever since he left his Brooklyn high school all those years before (Miller, Arthur).