American Dream to Nightmare in Salesman and Glass Castle

The American Nightmare

Happiness is in individualism. Since we are young society paints a picture for us that seems so “perfect” of a so called dream that expects everyone to be the same and gives a falsehood that if we aren’t in this image we can never succeed.

In “Death of a Salesman” Willie Loman is so afraid of not achieving the American Dream and not being accepted by society that he lies to

ted by society that he lies to himself and becomes delusional and afraid of change.

In an attempt to look good and fit the American Dream he spends outside his means and pushes his sons into a future they didn’t even choose themselves so much that they believe it is the perfect life. It wasn’t even until right before he killed himself, because he saw it as the only way to help his family through his life insurance, did Willie realize that he truly didn’t need to live the American Dream to be happy.

We also can’t live our whole lives afraid of any structure like how Rex and Rosemary raised their family in “The Glass Castle.” Building a life should mean doing work and putting forth effort to build what you want your life to be, not being forced to build how society sees fit. Where the Walls family went wrong was their lack of effort, if Rex would have found and kept a job he loved and Rosemary would have found a market for her art they could have built a life that was both enjoyable and profitable.

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Maybe the Walls wouldn’t have had to live in poverty for most of their lives if society hadn’t scared them away from the idea of structure and would have encouraged an idea of free willed living.

The American Dream is one built for the rich “elite” that rarely leaves room for people such as immigrants as discussed in the article “The American Dream Is A Lie” by Fae Myenne. Many people like Myenne come from places whether it’s Asia, Central or South America or Africa every day following the promise of a great dream. Though every day they are shot down by a system where money makes money instead of skill and foreigners are still seen as a threat by some. All they can really do is look up through a proverbial glass ceiling slaving away at jobs they hate hoping someday they will rise up to this dream” only to hit the ceiling and be stuck with nowhere to go but where they are or back down. Most of these people are stuck in ghettos and slums and 15% of the population lives in poverty in the supposed greatest nation in the world.

A world or at least a nation where everyone actually has a chance with enough effort seems ideal though would require a complete restructuring of society where a small amount of the population doesn’t control almost all the wealth. All of these things seem to prove that a dream for a select few leaves a nightmare for many, forcing them to live how others expect to and not how they want to or dream of themselves.

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American Dream to Nightmare in Salesman and Glass Castle. (2021, Dec 15). Retrieved from

American Dream to Nightmare in Salesman and Glass Castle
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