Death of a Salesman

How has the neighborhood changed? Why does it matter to the story that his surroundings are no longer the way they used to be?

act 1

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The neighborhood use to be more open, with space and trees and a good view. The houses were new and well kept. This represents the ideal of the American dream. Since then, the neighborhood has decayed, Willie's house in particular. Willie's dream has died, just like the neighborhood. Willie is also all about the style over substance. The decaying neighborhood illustrates just how faulty that thinking is.