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Popularity, Physical Appearance, and the American Dream in Death of a Salesman

For many, the “American Dream” is the hope for a future filled with success and fortune. Although many may share the idea of the American Dream, each person has a different perception of what is necessary to achieve this goal. Willy Loman, the lead character of Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman, believes that popularity and physical appearance are the keys that unlock the door to the “American Dream”.

We are first introduced to the importance of popularity and physical appearance when Willy is speaking to his wife, Linda, about their son Biff. “Biff Loman is lost,” says Willy. “In the greatest country in the world, a young man with such personal attractiveness gets lost.” In this quote, not only is Willy confused about how Biff’s good looks can’t help him get a job, b…

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…, Ben, and the elderly man he encountered in his youth.

Willy Loman truly believes that physical appearance and popularity are the keys to success – hard work is not necessary. Because of Willy’s naive ideas, he is unable to reach his goal of achieving the American Dream.

Work Cited

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. Literature. Ed. Sylvan Bates New York: Longman, 1997.

A Tale of Two Endings of Great Expectations

A Tale of Two Endings of Great Expectations

When Charles Dickens first drafted Great Expectations, his original ending to the novel provided a concrete conclusion for the story. However, when his editor asked him to revise the ending, he did so, stating that the revised ending was a “pretty… little piece of writing.” (Appendix A) The ambiguity of the revised ending, however, leaves much to be desired. In the original ending, when Biddy questions Pip about his current feelings toward Estella, he claims strongly that he is “sure and certain” that he is over Estella (Appendix A). In the revised ending, however, Pip makes a weak assertion on behalf of his unhealed heart, stating when asked if he ever thinks of Estella, “O no – I think not, Biddy.” (490). This is then followed by an introspective admission, showing the reader Pip’s true emotion for Estella. This sets the stage for an emotional encounter between the two in the final scene.

Within the context of Pip’s actual meeting with Estella, …

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