Financial Success and the American Dream: A Marxist Reading of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
This paper analyses Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman. The main focus is on the theme American Dream and its influences on the characters. Classical Marxism and Althusser’s Marxist theory have been used as the theoretical framework for this paper to answer the questions: In which ways has the American dream as a concept of happiness and financial success affected the characters? Can the American dream and capitalism be blamed for the Loman family’s situation? The conclusion drawn after studying Miller’s play is that the material side of the American dream can be identified as the dominant in the play and it has more negative effects than positive ones on the Lomans, the effects are both mental and physical. Despite the negative effects of the American dream and capitalism on the characters in Miller’s Death of a Salesman, one cannot blame them for the Loman family’s situation. It is the individuals (characters) that must be blamed because everyone can independently in a democratic and free society make their own choices. For that reason, people have to stand up for their actions and take responsibility for the consequences of their choices and actions whether the consequences are good or bad. Hence, the problem in Miller’s play is not so much about ideological influences as it is about self-awareness.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 36 p.
Althusser, self-awareness, capitalism, American dream, Miller, financial success, ideology, Marxism, communism, socialism, freedom of choice
Humanities General Literature Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-21547OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-21547DiVA: diva2:934498
Subject / course
Canunau, Iulian, Universitetslektor
Modiano, Marko, Universitetslektor