American dream is like a contract which ensures everyone to have liberty and opportunity, no matter what his class, religion or complexion is. People can wait to have a joyous and successful life as long as they work hard. Actually, American dream is not only established upon those materialistic aims, but also related to a proper financial position (not necessarily related to splendid wealth). There are some standards to be judged if a person is successful or not in American's mind. Are you a good parent with a happy marriage? Do u have a good interpersonal relationship and get respect from your friends? Are you well educated and on the top at your job? As for power or fame, not so many people regard them as the most important one.
However, today's American dream is not so Utopian anymore and is more realistic. It is affected by many reasons, such as the development of industry and change of trade style. Maybe you are a hard-working person, but no one can promise that you will get what you want. Paupers could still be paupers no matter how much they effort, while rich people could still be rich without any working. Although things go on like this way, there are still some people holding American dream and believe they will make it one day.
In " Death
of a Salesman", most characters have their
own American dreams more or less. Ben, Charley and Bernard are winners
in this dream, but Willy Loman, Biff and Happy are losers. Willy
keeps trying hard to make that dream come
true, but still fails in his salesman's world at the end. He wants to make
lots of money and regards it as the only way to prove his success. However,
he has no consciousness of his real talent and his own limit. Therefore,
when he realizes that he is totally a failure, he commits suicide. He thinks
that he has no right to live if his business is not successful. He is a
perfect tragic example who loses him in pursuing money for his American
As for Ben, whom Willy always admires, is absolutely a good model of someone who chasing American dream and gets lots of benefit from it. He likes to say" When I walked into the jungle, I was seventeen. When I walked out I was twenty-one. And, by God, I was rich." He is optimistic, aggressive and likes to adventure and all these things are accorded with American dream. Biff has no steady jobs and doesn't accomplish anything at his thirty- four age. He is not like his father, Willy, who only thinks of making great amount of money. Instead of that, he chases freedom, which can make him really happy. And this reason leads to these two people's conflict.
Charley, Willy's old friend, is satisfied
with his stable life, though he is not a plutocracy.
Happy still doesn't give up to pursue success
in business after seeing his father's sad ending. Bernard,
a standard scholar, has good evolvement in law, which brings him a considerable
fortune. Although he is not a businessman, he is a success.
In short, American dream lets people have positive attitude to pursue their life goals, however, some external factors may impede their progress. Willy Lomen is the best living proof.
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