Corruption of the “American Dream” in Death of a Salesman: A Thematic Analysis of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

Juan ZHAO

Abstract


Arthur Miller published his most famous work Death of a Salesman in 1949. This play received numerous awards for its literary merit, including the Pulitzer Prize for drama and it is regarded by many critics as the perfect embodiment of the modern American drama. Willy Loman, the hero of the play, is caught-up in the “American Dream” which consists of a genuine and determined belief that in America all things are possible to all men regardless of birth or wealth. If you work hard enough you will achieve anything. However, Miller believes that people have been ultimately misguided and Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman, is a moving destruction of the whole myth.Key words: Death of a Salesman; American Dream; corruption; tragedy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968%2Fj.ccc.1923670020100603.012

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