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Death of a Salesman, Questionnaire Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1264

Questionnaire

In your own words, explain the following quotation as it relates to the way in which the American Dream distinguishes Americans: People elsewhere tend to accept, to a far greater degree anyway, that the conditions of life are hostile to man’s pretentions.

Dreams make up one person. The aspirations he has with regards a certain achievement creates a personification of who he really is. The same goes when it comes to defining a nation. Understandably though, it is a known fact that not all dreams come true. There are several circumstances that make it hard for a person to pursue what he wants. The situation then turns around and a person becomes hostile to the fact that there needs to be some adjustments; to settle with what is available and adjust what is wanted to fit with what resources are present. Considerably, the American dream has constantly been about being free to do what one wants and what one desires without limitations. The truth defies this matter, hence, as a result it is most often than not relatively true that Americans and the others who follow the same dream they have work along with what is available and settle for what could be best done with the resources available at present.

Quotes and Speakers

Well, dear. Life is a casting off. It’s always that way

Speaker: Linda

Explanation:  Linda, coming from a dysfunctional family learned to live life as it comes. Basically, she believes that life in itself is a system that no one can control. It is a philosophy that is based on the thinking of “what comes shall come”. It is as if one casts off a bait in the river to fish without the fisher knowing what he would be able to catch. The same thing is with this belief. Linda considers life as a mere process that one simply needs to accept. She defies the fact that things can be done and matters can be planned so as to make sure that the end results would be remarkably acceptable.

“That’s fifty-two thousand dollars a year coming through the revolving door… I want to walk into the store the way he walks in.”

Speaker: Happy

Explanation: In a way, the American dream of financial freedom and professional success is presented in this quote as a matter being corrupted by some others who have more power in the society. Relatively, wealth has become a defining factor that presents success in the society, almost imposing that without money; one could never get a reputation that he wants to have nor the respect that he wishes to receive.

“A man is not a bird to come and go with the springtime”

Speaker: Linda

Explanation: Linda, being the speaker of this line provides a clear definition of what she thinks about men, considering that she refers to her husband Biff to be somewhat non-permanent who wishes for something more than the usual. In a way, it reflects the fact that a person, as he grows becomes more specific with what he wants, changes his old simple thoughts and goes for more complex ones. Biff’s character directly reflects this fact as he does at some point aim for something more than what is expected of him. Instead of just following the footsteps of his father, he desired for something more, as if growing into a more mature essence of himself.

 In act one of Arthur Miller’s play Death of Salesman, Linda Loman Describes the popular perception of the American Hero as well as the popularly accepted idea of what constitutes success in the western world. So then attempts to redefine both these things. Explain

The play of the Death of a Salesman specifically presents an individual full of aspirations and dreams that he plans to achieve not only for himself but for the people living around him. Willy Loman is presented as someone of a typical father who wants nothing but the best for his children. Understandably though, this desire of his became the primary frustration that kept him far from his son Biff. The desire of his son becoming a businessman made him push his son forward while not minding of what Biff really wanted for his life. In consideration with this, Loman ended his life willingly to make sure that his son would take the chance of becoming a businessman through the use of the insurance policy release that he would be able to get after the accident.

Was it that worth it to die for such a dream? Success has been termed in the western world to be related to the idea of having one’s own control of his finances, a person able to get involved in the world of commerce and all its glory alongside the luxurious life it offers. For many years, the American society has seen and embraced commerce as part of its culture, a matter that characterizes its supposed “success”. In relation to this, the same impact of relative condition is being passed on to those who believe in the American dream, imposing like as if a career against that of commerce or anything that does not earn as much as commercial professions do would not create a good impact on the reputation of one person. To note, these frustrations continue to haunt the lives of the many individuals who hope to be successful in the same career path leading to commercial success.

Today, the same dream appeals to many individuals in and outside the territories of the American soil. To consider though, the same thing happens to those who get overly absorbed in their desires that they get frustrated and consider irrational moves that they believe would simply get them closer to their aims. The worse situation is how they affect others with it as did Willy with his son Biff. Observe how Biff reacted to the matter when he said: How the hell did I ever get the idea that I was a salesman there? I even believed myself that I was a salesman for him! And then he gave me one look and—I realized what a ridiculous lie my whole life has been!” (p. 104). To this he even adds: “I’ve always made a point of not wasting my life, and every time I come back here I know that all I’ve done is to waste my life.” (p. 23). Sad as the truth is, it is evident that the inability of some to readjust their lifestyle with what life itself offers them end up disappointed not only on themselves but also on others who they pass their dreams onto. Yes, losing himself into a dream that his father has created has not only affected him personally but also how other people looked unto him. Happy specifically saw the change in his brother Biff when he said: “I just control it, that’s all. I think I got less bashfall and you got more so. What happened, Biff? Where’s the old humor, the old confidence?” (21). It seemed that Biff did give up so much for the dream of his father that he lost himself unto it along the way.

Reality specifically insists that a person become as flexible as possible so as to make sure that the kind of life he receives is what he deserves even though it might not necessary be what he wants. Being contented, which Willy Loman lacked, is the characteristic that is needed to avoid the frustrations and the pressures and even the meaningless death that the salesman has incurred for himself for the sake of the completion of a frustrated dream of success.

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