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A Streetcar Named Desire and Death of a Salesman: Broken American Dreams - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Class May 15, 2012 A Streetcar Named Desire and Death of a Salesman: Broken American Dreams The Declaration of Independence captures the core meaning of the American Dream, because it states that “all men are created equal” with “certain unalienable Rights, which among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It produces an image of an egalitarian society, where all people, whatever their race, gender, and social status may be, can attain success, freedom, and happiness…
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A Streetcar Named Desire and Death of a Salesman: Broken American Dreams
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A Streetcar Named Desire and Death of a Salesman: Broken American Dreams

These plays dispute the notion of the American Dream, by demonstrating that the tragedy of being a commoner is staying one until death, because of the absence of social and gender equality, as well as human integrity, in the American capitalist system. The American Dream is an illusion, because the working-class can hardly access the resources and opportunities that can help them improve their lives. Capitalism keeps the poor permanently settled in their social class, so that they can serve the interests of the wealthy and powerful. Biff wants to loan money, so that he can open a business, but Mr. Oliver does not even remember him. In Death of a Salesman, capitalism is portrayed as the absence of human connections and trust, which is critical to poor people like Biff, who have no properties to collateral, or enough money to launch their own businesses. Clearly, the rich does not provide the working class an equal access to credit that can help them elevate their economic conditions in life. ...
He wants to hold on to a stable job and salary, but Wagner fires him instead, after employing him for thirty years. Because of these problems, Willy goes back to his roots, to his original “rural-agrarian dream” (Eisinger 99). Eisinger argues that people chooses the wrong dreams, because they do not know themselves. He believes that trapped in a capitalist society, Willy forgets his “rural-agrarian dream” and replaces it with the “urban-business-success dream” (Eisinger 99). These dreams are unrealistic and unattainable, nevertheless, for majority of the working class. In A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche fights for her right to survive in society, even if it means lying to her sister about their properties and ensnaring a man through deceiving him about her age. She knows that she has no fighting chance to move upwards in society, since she is already penniless and aging. These people represent instances of how hard the working class struggles with their society that does not provide the same opportunities that are available to the rich. Capitalism reserves resources to those in power already and rejects the weak and the old. One way of concentrating wealth is through creating mysticism around it. Eisinger notes that Willy pursues the “urban-business-success dream,” which is based on a “mythic version” (98). This version is based on Uncle Ben’s success, where he claims: “When I was seventeen I walked into the jungle, and when I was twenty-one I walked out. And by God I was rich” (Miller xxvi). Uncle Ben makes success an easy venture, although it is something that not anyone can attain. As a result, Willy keeps the illusion that he can also accomplish success in the same swagger, which he never does. Elliott ... Read More
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