The ‘American Dream’ is based on the ‘Declaration of Independence’: ‘We believe that all men are born with these inalienable rights – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’, (Thomas Jefferson, 1776). This ‘dream’ 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. To be hard working, honest and having ambition were the ways to the American Dream which lead to success, wealth and in due time – power. But this dream also develops and encourages greedy selfish behavior, pride and rivalry among people. Willy Loman in 'Death of a Salesman' was ‘caught- up’ in this American Dream. His blind faith in his stunted version of the American Dream leads to his rapid psychological decline when he is unable to accept the disparity between the Dream and his own life. Capitalism, the profit motive and competitive instinct, makes Willy have a weakness in his personality which was caused by a combination of business pressures. Willy wants to prove himself as a salesman, but as he fails, his own life finally destroys him.
Afroza Akhter Tina
Department of English, DIU