America has long been known as a land of opportunity. Out of that thinking comes the “American Dream,” the idea that anyone can ultimately achieve success. There is no doubt that all Americans possess an American Dream. In one of Arthur Miller’s greatest works, Death of a Salesman, he brings the American Dream onto the stage for evaluation. In his play, it shows that people are easily get lost between the illusion and reality, continued misconception of oneself may cause one fail , and the expectations of parents do effect their children. People are easily get lost between the illusion and reality.
In Death of a Salesman, “They don't need me in New York. I'm the New England man. I'm vital in New England”(Death of a Salesman 14). Willy always assures himself that all is well. His life is a dream and derives all his pleasures from the past. Willy has no sense of accomplishment because he owns nothing, and he makes nothing. Because of this, he starts believing that if a person is well liked and has a great deal of personal attractiveness, then all doors will automatically be opened for him. Therefore Willy builds his life around these dreams.
However, those illusions replace reality in Willy's mind. He tells lies about how well liked he is in all of his towns, and how vital he is to New England. At times Willy even believes his own lies. Willy has nothing more to live for except his illusions and his memories of the past. So it is necessary for all of us to distinguish what is truthful and what is illusory in the American Dream. In addition to the fact that people are easily get lost between the illusion and reality, it also shows that continued misconception of oneself may cause one fail.
Willy believes wholeheartedly in what he considers the promise of the American Dream which is a “well liked” and “personally attractive” man in business will indubitably. He believes that is the way to become successful. Although his sons tell him the truth, he is still pertinacious and lives in his own world. Willy’s blind faith in his stunted version of the American Dream leads to his rapid psychological decline when he is unable to accept the difference between the dream and the real life.
Therefore Willy's entire life has been lived according to his ideas about personal attractiveness and being well-liked. He never questioned these values and believes his own criterion on the American Dream. As a result, Willy resolves on suicide for the twenty thousand dollars in insurance money. So that is what he did, Willy crashed his car and caused his own death. While the continued misconception of oneself may cause one fail, it also reveals that the expectations of parents do effect their children. As Willy believes in his own American Dream, he tries to bring up his children in that same world.
Willy’s father leaves him and Ben when Willy is very young, and Ben eventually departs for Alaska, leaving Willy to lose himself in a warped vision of the American Dream. Likely a result of these early experiences, Willy develops a fear of abandonment, and that makes him want his family to conform to the American Dream. His efforts to raise perfect sons, however, it doesn’t come true. “ The expectations of parents do effect on the behavior of their children, whatever it will be beneficial or detrimental”( Interview).
Therefore Happy was effected by Willy and inherited his father’s attitude. Arthur Miller illustrates several themes throughout Death of a Salesman. In his play, it shows that people are easily get lost between the illusion and reality, continued misconception of oneself may cause one fail , and the expectations of parents do effect their children. It is necessary for all of us to distinguish the illusion and reality, and know our strengths and weaknesses in order to become successful.