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“The Death Of The Sales Man” Vs “The Great Gatsby” Contrasting To The American Dream

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The authentic interpretation of the American dream attributes to have a prosperous and an exceptional life with open and fair opportunities. Additionally, in both the novels; The Death of a Salesman and The Great Gatsby, allude to a completely different understanding of the American dream with Gatsby as well as Willy wanting the altogether absolutely opposite ambitions in life to one and other. In the Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby was undoubtedly a wealth successfully man wanting love and affection. In contrast, Willy (The Death of The Salesman) who is an ordinary everyday working man wanting to accomplish the goal of being filthy rich. Additionally, Willy and Jay were both obsessed with re-creating the past as that was their perfect model of the American Dream. This obsession of recreating the past and possessing the illusion of the American dream instead of reviewing and examining the facts lead to their eventual deaths. This different versions of the American dream of each of the characters is seen through the books via things such as; materialism, appearance vs reality, and love.

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Moreover, Jay and Loman experienced the inability to distinguish between reality and illusion during the course of their lives. In fact, this was one of the leading reasons which lead to their deaths. In “The Great Gatsby”, the concept of illusion vs reality was one of the themes that was experienced by most of the characters in the Great Gatsby. Their inability to tell the difference between illusion and reality was the main cause for their failures including Gatsby’s death. Gatsby is a prime example of mistaking illusions for reality. During the novel, Gatsby assumes that at the end, Daisy and he will end up together, exactly how it was in the past. “He wanted nothing less of Daisy than she should go to Tom and say: ‘I never loved you’… just as if it were five years ago” (Pg 118), this also indicates the fact that Gatsby was so obsessed; he wanted the present to be completely like the past from 5 years ago despite him knowing that Daisy has been married for five years and has a child. In reality, Daisy did love Gatsby, however, five years ago and she had moved on from the past. “Nothing happened,’… I waited, and about four o’clock she came to his window and stood there for a minute and then turned out the light”.

Although, Jay’s relationship with Daisy was over. He never gave up and still saw the hope of getting together. Identically, In the death of a salesman, the characters face similar issues of being stuck on an elusive world of imagination. Arthur Miller uses characterisation via Willy to depict the defeat of his idea of the American Dream. Willy focuses on owning a house, acquiring enough money to living up to the standards of the American dream. However, he consistently strikes failure throughout the book as he chases the illusion of the American Dream instead of viewing the reality of it. For instance, after Willy being fired from his old job, he receives an offer from Charlie for a potential job.

However, Willy declines and refuses to take the job. This depicts the childless and the stubbiness inside of him. He is too childish to let go of his old job and accept a new one even though he has been fired.

Willy is an illusion of thinking he is still successful, popular, and on top of his game. He keeps repeating to himself that he made over hundred and seventy dollars alone on commission (currently worth USD 1,452. 71) which in reality was 20 years ago, however, Loman is living an illusion of the past. “Quote here”, explain quote. Willy’s entire life was summed up in one question from Charlie, “When the hell are you going to grow up?” As we have discovered that Willy Loman, is a child in the body of a man. Every time Willy does not get his ways, he gets worse every time. For example, Willy challenged Charlie to a fight when Charlie said “Quote”. “…I will rap you one” (page xx).

This displays how disillusioned he has become with reality, and his insecurity with who has he become. Overall, (Conclusion for Illusion vs Reality).

Additionally, In the Great Gatsby; money is a factor in the relationships and motivations of the characters. Many of the characters in the book expose themselves to be extremely materialistic and expose themselves to be driven by materialistic goods. An example would be when Daisy marries Tom due to the lifestyle he can provide. Daisy did not choose to marry Gatsby regardless of being in love as he was in poverty. This depicts Daisy as an awfully selfish and money greedy women. Furthermore, when Jay invites her to his mansion, Daisy immediately becomes emotional solidly and begins to cry stormily and says “They’re such beautiful shirts…’I have never seen such-such beautiful shirts before’”.

However, affluent population tend to gravitate towards emotions and relationships such as; affection, love, friendships. Meanwhile the reversed can be said for middle-class people such as Willy Loman.

10 October 2020

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