The play “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller encapsulates within its tight-lipped plot, fall of a myth pertaining to American Dream and its vision that “success is obtained by being well-liked”. The essay intends to perceive and examine the theme of American Dream and its failure closely woven within the plot of the play that sets challenges to the capitalistic concepts and desires of new America.
Arthur Miller was born on October 17th in the year of 1915 and expired on 10th February 2005. He was an eminent playwright and essayist from America. He was a very poignant figure in the American theatre and composed many important socio-political plays like “All My Sons (1947)”, “Death of a Salesman (1949)”, “The Crucible (1953)”, “A View from the Bridge (1955)” among others. Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” is acclaimed as the first great American tragedy and while projecting it, Miller gained name for the American to understand the true essence of the nation and its tragedy. As a university graduate, he witnessed the hollow pursuit of the good life entwined with the American Dream in the society of America. The disillusioned socio-economic perspective and dystopia led Miller to compose the play, “Death of a Salesman” which was only possible for a person like Miller who came up from the mundane and meagre streets of Harlem in New York and was able to witness the unveiled mask of American Dream.
The concept of American Dream operates at the national level in United States which includes a promise of freedom, possibility of prosperity and freedom and success. The definition of American Dream contended by James Torso Adams in the year 1931 was envisaged as “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” irrespective of social class or background. With this glittering vision in