Faded Dreams



“Faded Dreams”

In the play Death of a Salesman Willy Loman who is the salesman, was mainly concerned with the success of his family. He set his goals and expectations for himself and his sons that were so high that they were impossible to reach. Willy was reaching for the American dream. He wanted to live in a great neighborhood, he wanted to have his own business, and he wanted his sons to be successful He wanted the perfect life. Unfortunately people don’t always get what they want. Instead of the American dream Willy got reality. He was sixty-three years old and was not as successful as he had hoped to be. Willy was a failure. He was a failure as a father, a husband and a businessman and all his hopes and dreams had faded as well as his grip on what was reality and what was fantasy.
In the beginning of the play Arthur Miller draws attention to the lighting, scenery and landscape of Willy Loman’s house. There “towering angular shapes behind the house, surrounding it on all sides. Only the blue light of the sky falls upon the house…a solid vault of apartment houses are around the small fragile-seeming home”(1458). The first scene focuses on Willy’s feelings about the changes that have taken place in his neighborhood. He exclaims that he feels boxed in around the towering apartment buildings and that he can no longer smell the sweetness of the air only “bricks and windows, windows and bricks. In a lost state of mind he tells his wife how he is constantly thinking of the days from the past when the neighborhood was fresh with the smell of flowers blooming. He reminisced about the time when him and Biff hung a swing between the two beautiful elm trees that the apartment builders cut down His dream to be away from the city had faded like the light that surrounded his house.
Willy drifts in and out of reality so often in the play that it was hard for the reader to know what was real, in his mind, and what was fantasy or a lie. According to Willy Loman he himself was a great salesman. When he was young he brought his company a lot of business. He was a success. He was even given the honor of naming Wagner’s son Howard. He was moving up in the firm. He was sure that Wagner, his boss, would put him in charge of the New York office. He never expected that one day his job would be obsolete.
In earlier days the only way to get a glimpse of new products was to do it face to face. But as times change so does technology. Willy’s job was being replaced by technology and his pride blinded him to this fact. Willy could not face the reality that he was no longer the great salesman that he had once been. Ultimately Willy was fired from his job at Wagner. He confided in Charley, the person who gave him money every week so that his wife Linda would think that he had earned it. Charley even offered Willy a job but he turned it down. Unable to swallow his pride he concocts a notion that he is worth more dead than he is alive.
Willy wanted to die the death of a salesman. When Willy was younger he set out to find his father instead he met a man named Dave Singleton. According to Willy, Dave was a great salesman. He die at he age of eight-four. He was given a great burial, according to Willy, “hundreds of salesmen and buyers were at his funeral…he died the death of a salesman”(1498). In Willy’s mind this was the way to die with lots of people from all over to mourn the great Willy Loman. Then he would have the respect and the admiration that he thought he deserved. With no money, no job, and no hope at all, Willy’s dreams of being a successful businessman faded along with his will to live.
Biff and Happy were Willy’s sons. Biff is described as a well-built man but in his later year he looks a bit worn. He is the older of