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In history, there
have been numerous of stories and plays made, but there have been only two
plays that we have gone through in class that fully captures the American
dream, like “A Raisin in the Sun” and “Death of a Salesman”. In both story’s
that main character is trying to achieve that one this the American Dream, but
it is almost impossible to achieve that dream because neither of the characters
has the respect of their authority figures or even the people they surround
themselves with. It is impressive that these two different plays written far
apart from each other from a different author have such similarity.

Both Miller and
Lorraine created a theme of achieving goals, Willy Loman from “Death of a Salesman”
just wanted to earn the respect of the people around him while Walter Younger from
“A Raisin in the Sun” wanted to get rich quick by opening a liquor store and
wanted to support his family. In the story, Willy Loman and Walter Younger like
to talk about the American dream and how it is their right, but they will not
go anywhere unless if they do something and go out and follow their own dreams.
 “Yes, he is a fine man—just couldn’t
catch up with his dreams that’s all” (A Raisin in the Sun).  Both Willy
and Walter think they have figured it all out, but they were mistaken. Willy believes
that to succeed in the world you need to do is be – liked, but that all that
got him was a lack of respect from his coworkers and others. Walter was sure he
had found the answer to care for his family and be able to provide for them by
investing in a liquor store; as a result, is was in over his head and his
friend (co – investor) ran off with the money Walter had invested. Both Walter
and Willy have the idea that all pressure on their shoulders. This pressure is
so excessive that no one else realizes what it’s like. As Walter states “Man,
I’m a volcano, a giant surrounded by ants. Ants can’t understand a thing giants
talking about” (Raisin in the Sun). These two men underwent more than anyone in
the two plays, and they both had a confused view of life. But luckily, they
both have the support of an affectionate family to help them through it.

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Ruth Younger was
one of the people that kept Walter in check and their house stable, she kept up
with the house duties and was emotionally strong through the story, “goodbye
misery! I don’t ever want to see your ugly face again” (A Raisin in the Sun). A
character from “Death of a Salesman” that is almost alike to Ruth is Linda
Loman. Linda cared for an already damaged family and all those times Willy foolishly
messed up attempting for success. She too held up her family with her emotional
strengths, without her Willy would have already killed himself long before he
did in the play. Linda also kept cool in deep situations, when everyone was
freaking out she was the one to bring unity within the family. These two women
played a huge role in keeping their families united; they knew when the tough
times came they were deeply needed to keep the family together.

Both plays have
characters that give the families some news they do not want to hear.

In “A Raisin in the Sun” that
character is Mr. Karl Lindner; he notifies the Youngers that they are unwelcome
in a neighborhood that they just moved in to. “He says that because of their
color they will lower the value of the surrounding neighborhood” (A Raisin in
the Sun). Their excitement from finally buying a house of their own and
fulfilling Mamas dream quickly diminished. Howard Wagner was another main
example of someone that gives bad news, or in this case shattering news, he was
the one who fired Willy or told him to take “a leave of absence” (Death of a
Salesman). There no doubt that this is the first of many events that eventually
led to Willy’s suicide. These two men did more than just give a bit of bad
news, they alone changed these two families forever.

The two plays are
very similar, they both show deprived American families just trying to live out
the American dream. Both families have the problem of not having enough money,
and in both plays, this is part of the major conflict. The Youngers were living
in a trashy apartment that was not big enough to raise a family in. They did
not have the money to move to a bigger sized house until they received a life
insurance policy from Mama’s dead husband. The Loman family faced a similar
problem in Death of a Salesman; Willy Loman could not even come up with the
monthly rent so he had to borrow money from Charley. Clearly, the thing that
drove the Loman family to venture out and try to “get rich quick” was the lack
of income. In both plays, the protagonists (main characters) believe if they
had a little more money they would be living a happier live and be even more
united with their families.

Although both
stories have so much in common they do have a few differences. Most the major
differences in the two plays appear towards the end, or in other words the
outcome. In A Raisin in the Sun the Younger family achieves their goals, Walter
becomes the man of the house by standing up to Mr. Lindner, and the Younger
family gets to move into their new house. The Loman family was not so lucky;
sadly, Willy Loman was eventually successful in his suicide attempt and he did
not achieve in reaching his goals. A Raisin in the Sun’s ending was much more
positive than Death of a Salesman. The Youngers, for the most part, achieved
their goals but the Lomans did not, the boys wanted to start a business but
they could not reach their father’s expectations. Willy wanted to find
happiness but ended up committing suicide.

 

 

 

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