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Seeking the American Dream - Death of a Salesman

            Once defined as the land of opportunity, America is beginning to seem less and less promising. As time has passed the American Dream has become extremely difficult to attain. These ideals of equality, freedom, and opportunity traditionally held available to every American presented in the country's foundation are clearly less present today (Kamp). In fact, it could be said that the American Dream is exactly that, a dream, and everyone knows dreams rarely become reality. An outstanding example of this is presented in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, which subtly points out many flaws with the American Dream. Through this play the American reader is able to identify all too well with the struggles of the Loman family to achieve the dream. In turn, the Dream is represented as nothing but a glorified image. This skewed idea of extreme success and monetary prosperity plays a large role in the demise of the dream. It is due to these skewed views that the American dream has changed from something attainable by all Americans to being an unrealistic goal.
             Though it differs from citizen to citizen, one part of the American Dream that is largely consistent is the desire for money, according to Matthew Warshauer author of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire: Changing Conceptions of the American Dream." Unfortunately, this is the part of the Dream that causes the most problems. In the country's beginning, the Dream was established in the Declaration of Independence as the freedom to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. At one point in history, fulfillment of the dream consisted of simply having enough to survive. Today, however, according to David Kamp author of "Rethinking the American Dream" and writer for Vanity Fair, the Dream has somehow been changed to be considered making it big or striking it rich. This shift in expectation can be traced back to the early twentieth century as the country rose from the depths of the Great Depression.

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