There are complex relationships between American capitalism and American Dream. Contemporary researchers have with time justified this relationship in light of other subsequent factors. Their findings have been benefited other philosophers and authors. For example, in the play the Death of a Salesman, the themes of a failed American dream and the nature of American capitalism are heavily analyzed.
Basing on Miller ideas, the following ideas can, therefore, be generated. Miller focuses on attainability of the American Dream. As well, Miller examines the defects of capitalism and the business world, the problems posed by technology and progress of the society.
Contrary to the much-publicized stereotype that defines America’s dream as a land of democracy, there are subjective elements that exist. The two themes signify tyrannous tendencies. Tyrannos is a Greek word known as Tyranny, and is commonly known as oppression. American dream can be said to be a tyrant society where only a specific group of individuals benefit. Reflectively, Miller draws particular attention to the dominance of capitalism in American by making the protagonists, a salesman subject to divergent believes. In particular, the sales is edged when continuously persuade people to buy his products. Thus, the promised American dream of freedom and comfort is replaced by a ruthless capitalist society where masculine competition is on the forefront.
The American system has condition its citizens to live in a fast-lane world. Living a dream requires working hard. For example, the sales person is dependent on the contacts he maintains. This meant that the salesman had to make himself accepted and likable as possible. As quoted,
Happy: But I think if you just got started – I mean – is there any future for you out there 10
Supportively, Terkel believes that patronages of the American dream were obliged to market themselves and not their contribution to the society 49. This can further be related to Greek society where tyranny of ideas took center stage in most critical ideas. In that society, a man’s greatness might have been measured by the strengths in his arms or his skills with a sword but in the American dream, greatness is measured by who can make the most money.
However, the differences between a tyrant Greek society and tyrant American society is that the possibility of failure was imminent on the American side. For example, on page 4 of the play, Willy returning home after aborting a business trip is a principle indication of failure. To elaborate on this context, Miller uses superior stage directions to ensure that the audience understand Willy present context. A failed American dream means that the personality is not in a position to compete effectively as other persons.
The dream further fails, and negative capitalism takes center stage when Willy’s view of success is stereotypically male. Similarly, from the tyrant regimes existing in the Greek societies, the view of success significantly changes. For Willy, the American Dream takes a bifurcated road, one that is adventurous good fortune, and charm. Besides, the American dream encourages people to act in a Chauvinistic manner. For example, Willy’s tyrant thoughts, which are generated by a depressing society, encourage the development of immoral behavior. Having affairs with different women while he is outside for a business trip can be considered an aspiration to be a successful and likable man. As quoted
Willy: Just Wanna be Careful With Those Girls, Biff that’s all Don’t Make any Promises 16
Arguably, success with women happens to be a form of trophy, and the woman in Willy’s memory seems to add to his self-image. In particular, his impatience with Linda is manifested when she scolds Linda to shut-up. In any case, Willy believes that women did not have equal rights with men since they did not contribute much economically.
Besides, the American dream and capitalism does not allow complex relationship development. According to pages 15 and 37, the two men lacked ethical guidance since they had little respect for family. In any case, survival and most especially living the American was most significant. Willy’s relationship with Biff does not prosper as expected. Given that Willy is economically better than Biff, he is convinced pleasing Willy will naturally expand the number of favors he receives. Biff a former inmate for theft, attempts to convince Willy that he can be trusted. In their conversation,
Biff :You don’t care where I get anything does you
Willly: You are not a thief
Biff: I found it, heh? You’re already convinced that I found it on Forty-Second Street.
Convincingly, the quality of this relationship is presumably a surprise to the audience as well as Willy. Biff’s approach to capitalism is rather decisive. Reflectively, if Biff is to represent a hopeful alternative to the crushing law of success, he must have got beyond the tortured emotions and the moral confusion of the Loman family. In fact, Biff contemplates that in order to survive in the capitalist society, he must seem cooler, gentler and in charge as he moves to replace Willy values. Miller fathoms Biff character as one, which is accomplished at the end of whole and conveyed on different context. After it is a capitalist society where how one benefits counts it all. Therefore, the relationship between Willy and Biff is a production of subsequent competition, inclination, and capitalism.
Besides, we understand from the play that American dream and capitalism displaced social obligation. Both Willy and Biff are what they are since they lacked decisive father guidance. Willy’s father deserted him while Biff deserted his father to please Willy. As quoted
Biff: What he Say about Me (Willy)
Happy: I can’t make it out
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