Death of a Salesman

to what extent does willy, happy, and biff get seduced and betrayed by their allegience to the concept of the american dream

about the american dream and how willy believed in it so much but was let down

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Willy really believed in the "American Dream". He bought into the idea that self-worth could be measured by what a person did and the material acquisitions that they made. All the characters felt, to some extent, that if they looked, acted and worshiped the part, success would be assured. In reality, 1940's America was a competitive and gritty place. The "success" that Willy eluded Willy was bought through hard work, determination and connections. Willy and his boys were lacking in these traits. Their concept of the American dream was skewed to a very childish understanding of work and affluence. As Willy spiralled out of control, Happy and Biff inadvertently followed in their father's path. Their business and monetary failures were directly connected with their self-worth. The Irony is tragic to many readers who understand that the American Dream, even today, is largely based on illusion. It is the illusion that easy money is just around the corner and that mass consumption leads to happiness.