Race and The American Dream Essay

The American Dream is symbolic to all in this world in the way that there is always hope and that you will get a chance to make or break yourself. Those who are determined and set their mind to what ever it is they are looking to accomplish generally succeed. People invision this place of freedom where you are given or have to find opportunities to succeed and are driven to make something out of the opportunity that they might encounter.

In this paper I will look at the second group of films along with the book The Bluest Eye and make comparisons to each other.Furthermore I will prove that my definition of The American Dream is reality versus illusion and the changes that occur are hard for people to get through. Death of a Salesman is an affirmation of the American spirit, and a depiction of the salesman’s life. It has several themes that run throughout the movie. The most obvious theme is the idea of reality versus illusion. Though Linda, Biff and Happy are all unable to separate reality from illusion to some degree, Willy is the main character who suffers from this ailment.

For years, Willy has believed that both he and his boys (particularly Biff) will one day be great successes.Though he’s a disrespected salesman, he calls himself the “New England man. “” Though Biff has done nothing with his life by the age of thirty-four, Willy tells others and tries to make himself believe that his son is doing big things- out west. Willy’s brother, Ben, continually appears in the troubled man’s mind, offering hints on how to make it in the world of business. Willy feels that he must live up to the standard that Ben has set, but this is found to be impossible by the end of the movie. Only Biff ever realizes who he is (“a dime a dozen-) and what his potential really is.He is the only member of the family to finally escape from the poisonous grasp of illusion. One of the secondary themes is the idea of the American Dream.

Though Willy spends all of his adult life working for a sales company, this company releases the salesman when he proves to be unprofitable. Willy confronts Howard, his boss, when he charges, “You can’t eat the orange and throw the peel away “a man is not a piece of fruit. “” Here, Willy feels that Howard has gone back on his father’s word by forgetting him in his golden years, throwing away the peel after eating the orange, so to speak.Thus, Willy is unable to cope with the changing times and the unfeeling business machine that is New York. He is deeply hurt and humiliated by this state of affairs and justifiably worried about his financial future. Though Willy is a very modern man, and certainly not a member of the upper classes, he lives a very tragic life. He believes that he and his sons are great men, his flawed character distorts his optimistic vision of success and happiness. The idea that “personality wins the day- is one such flaw in Willy’s logic.

Indeed, substance, not personality or being well liked, is what wins the day.Charley and Bernard, who have success but not personality, prove to Willy that his notion is incorrect. But unfortunately, Willy never understands this, and so goes to his grave never truly realizing where he went wrong. What is ironic about this is that he always seemed to keep his head up.

He always had a positive attitude even when he knew that things were not going good. He couldn’t even fix things financially because he no longer could work and refused to work for his friends. I guess that he didn’t want people to feel like they were helping him out.It’s amazing the way that he lied to himself but always stayed rather determined and positive that things were going to turn out alright.

“The Grapes of Wrath” tells the story of the Joads, a displaced Oklahoman sharecropper family, and one of many forced to abandon their lands due to the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Tom is their hot-tempered ex-con son who returns to his family just in time to join it on a desperate job-hunting expedition to California. The social realism crafts a point, not to allow a peek at the poor but to illustrate the depth of poverty and exploitation present-day Americans were suffering.However, this realism is displeasure but not compromised by the goodness of ordinary people: the Joads meet up with the Wilsons, they are welcomed by the people at the Weedpatch camp. The constant effort of the entire Joad family to find work, even though they are poor, demoralized and hungry, show us that have to show their tremendous courage and dignity.

Even the poor old grandfather shows his courage and that his death is symbolic. One thing that struck me was when he said “I ain’t goin’ to California.This is my country and I belong here. This is my dirt. It’s no good, but it’s mine, all mine. ” I think that he realizes that this California deal is an illusion and he doesn’t want to leave. He ends up passing away of a heart attack before they get far. But they do have to get him drunk so he doesn’t resist.

Change at his old age is far from what he wants to go through. To them California represents a place of great wealth, freedom, and prosperity. “The Grapes of Wrath” is turning point. Very likely the horrors of the depression shocked all people out of their objectives and moving from ideological stasis into the truth that they would be working for five cents a bucket and that their hopes were not going to come through.