The American Dream in Literature Analytical Essay by Neatwriter

The American Dream in Literature
This paper discusses the "American Dream" as seen in the male characters in Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun" and Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman".
# 60137 | 4,125 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2005 | US
Published on Aug 11, 2005 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis) , Sociology (General)

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This paper explains that Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun" and Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" reflect the painful aspects of the American Dream by allowing the reader to understand the complications which arise as people plan their lives and set out to reach their dreams. The author points out that the plays contain elements of personal tragedy: (1) Hansberry's Walter Younger is able to turn his negative experience around and learn from it but (2) Miller's Willy Loman lives his entire life misled by his own misconceptions about his dream. The paper relates that each play represents very real segments of society, which help us understand the American Dream through different eyes: Walter Younger gives the reader insight into how African American men in the 1950s saw and pursued their dreams, and Willy Loman provides insight into how white men in the 1940s might have attempted to achieve their dreams.

From the Paper:

"We get a glimpse of Walter's dream early in the play when he is arguing with Ruth. He tells her that Charlie Atkins is grossing $100,000 a year now and she could not be on his side for just a little while and support him joining Charlie in the dry-cleaning business. Walter also knows that his key to success is getting his mother to support him as well. This is part of his mistake--he is trying to get everyone to be on his side rather than going about starting a business and doing things the hard way. He also tries to get Ruth to convince his mother that his idea with Willy is not a "fly-by-night proposition". Walter also expresses his skepticism about becoming rich when he tells Ruth, "Baby, don't nothing happen for you in this world 'less you pay somebody off!" When Mama tells Walter that she has no intention of giving him any money to invest in the liquor business, he tries to manipulate her with guilt."

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