The American Dream and "Death of a Salesman" Book Review

The American Dream and "Death of a Salesman"
A critique of the representation of the American Dream in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman".
# 128371 | 1,600 words | 6 sources | APA | 2010 | GB
Published on Jul 16, 2010 in Drama and Theater (American)

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This paper discusses how the play "Death of a Salesman" has had a profound effect on American society, its counterculture and individuals alike. Written in 1949, America along with a great proportion of the rest of the world was changing considerably. Financially, politically, domestically America was becoming the epitome of a super power. In particular, the paper examines what the play has to say about the country of it's birth and how it played a major role in the birth of an altogether different breed of American; the counter-culturalist.

From the Paper:

"Biff, one of two sons encapsulates this. Having been a true believer in 'the dream' in early life Biffs world is turned upside down when the trappings of ego - in his case Willy's affair - is discovered. (The past and present contradict and oppose each other just as the characters themselves do). Suddenly, a lifetime of lies and deceit come crashing down and the truth becomes apparent. Previous to the discovery of the affair, Biff is convincing Willy to talk to his math teacher who has flunked him, believing his father to be a persuasive and charismatic character. Once the affair is revealed and the lies fall away, Biff goes on to denounce his Father a 'fake' and a 'phoney'. These accusations would become synonymous with the beat generation and general counterculture as a critique of the generation that spawned them- obsessed with post war materialism, keeping up appearances and household technological trends all at the expense of the sanity of the very youth that watched this capitalist nightmare unfold."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Schlondorff, V. (Director), Colesbury, R. (Producer). (1985). Death of a Salesman. [Motion picture]. United States: CBS.
  • Whitman, W. (2009) Death of a Salesman. (Modern Ed.) London: Penguin
  • Al- Sarory, S.A.M. (2004) Death of a Salesman: A Study of its Attitudinal Structure. [Thesis] University of Sana'a: Yemen.
  • Schlondorff, V. (Director), Colesbury, R. (Producer). (1985). Death of a Salesman. [Motion picture]. United States: CBS.
  • Tetu, R. (2004). Death of a Salesman: A Penguin Teachers Guide. London: Penguin

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

The American Dream and "Death of a Salesman" (2010, July 16) Retrieved December 08, 2022, from

MLA Format

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