In history, therehave been numerous of stories and plays made, but there have been only twoplays that we have gone through in class that fully captures the Americandream, like “A Raisin in the Sun” and “Death of a Salesman”.
In both story’sthat main character is trying to achieve that one this the American Dream, butit is almost impossible to achieve that dream because neither of the charactershas the respect of their authority figures or even the people they surroundthemselves with. It is impressive that these two different plays written farapart from each other from a different author have such similarity. Both Miller andLorraine 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 andwanted to support his family. In the story, Willy Loman and Walter Younger liketo talk about the American dream and how it is their right, but they will notgo anywhere unless if they do something and go out and follow their own dreams. “Yes, he is a fine man—just couldn’tcatch up with his dreams that’s all” (A Raisin in the Sun). Both Willyand Walter think they have figured it all out, but they were mistaken. Willy believesthat to succeed in the world you need to do is be – liked, but that all thatgot him was a lack of respect from his coworkers and others.
Walter was sure hehad found the answer to care for his family and be able to provide for them byinvesting in a liquor store; as a result, is was in over his head and hisfriend (co – investor) ran off with the money Walter had invested. Both Walterand Willy have the idea that all pressure on their shoulders. This pressure isso 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 giantstalking about” (Raisin in the Sun). These two men underwent more than anyone inthe two plays, and they both had a confused view of life.
But luckily, theyboth have the support of an affectionate family to help them through it.Ruth Younger wasone of the people that kept Walter in check and their house stable, she kept upwith the house duties and was emotionally strong through the story, “goodbyemisery! I don’t ever want to see your ugly face again” (A Raisin in the Sun). Acharacter from “Death of a Salesman” that is almost alike to Ruth is LindaLoman. Linda cared for an already damaged family and all those times Willy foolishlymessed up attempting to provide. She too held up her family with her emotional strengths,without her Willy would have already killed himself long before he did in theplay. Linda also kept cool in deep situations, when everyone was freaking outshe was the one to bring unity within the family.
These two women played a hugerole in keeping their families united; they knew when the tough times came theywere deeply needed to keep the family together. Both plays havecharacters that give the families some news they do not want to hear. In “A Raisin in the Sun” thatcharacter is Mr. Karl Lindner; he notifies the Youngers that they are unwelcomein a neighborhood that they just moved in to. “He says that because of theircolor they will lower the value of the surrounding neighborhood” (A Raisin inthe Sun). Their excitement from finally buying a house of their own andfulfilling Mamas dream quickly diminished. Howard Wagner was another mainexample of someone that gives bad news, or in this case shattering news, he wasthe one who fired Willy or told him to take “a leave of absence” (Death of aSalesman). There no doubt that this is the first of many events that eventuallyled to Willy’s suicide.
These two men did more than just give a bit of badnews, they alone changed these two families forever.The two plays arevery similar, they both show deprived American families just trying to live outthe 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 livingin a trashy apartment that was not big enough to raise a family in. They didnot have the money to move to a bigger sized house until they received a lifeinsurance policy from Mama’s dead husband. The Loman family faced a similarproblem in Death of a Salesman; Willy Loman could not even come up with themonthly rent so he had to borrow money from Charley. Clearly, the lack ofincome drove the Loman family to venture out of there comfort zone and tried toget rich quick.
In both plays, the protagonists (main characters) believe ifthey had a little more money they would be living a happier live and be evenmore united with their families. Although bothstories have so much in common they do have a few differences. Most the majordifferences in the two plays appear towards the end, or in other words theoutcome. In A Raisin in the Sun the Younger family achieves their goals, Walterbecomes the man of the house by standing up to Mr. Lindner, and the Youngerfamily 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 didnot achieve in reaching his goals. A Raisin in the Sun’s ending was much morepositive than Death of a Salesman. The Youngers, for the most part, achievedtheir goals but the Lomans did not, the boys wanted to start a business butthey could not reach their father’s expectations. Willy wanted to discoveryhappiness but ended up committing suicide.