Fences vs Death of a Salesman

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The Attempt for Success in Fences and Death of a Salesman When one attains wealth, respect and happiness they are successful. Two protagonists, Willy Loman from Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and Troy Maxson from August Wilson's Fences strive to become successful through comparable motives and ideals. Yet, the only distinction between Death of a Salesman and Fences is the issue of race. Willy Loman is part of a white family who is struggling to survive and Troy Maxson who has an African-American background is also having trouble supporting his family. Both protagonists are blinded by their illusions of success, and both of their experiences are akin to one another. Willy's experience with achieving the American Dream is similar to Troy's will to survive because Troy tries to be on the same level as Whites by overcoming racial barriers. Willy Loman, a traveling salesman, believes that one must be well-liked in order to achieve the American dream. However, Willy does not realize that the value of hard work and devotion plays the most important role in achieving success. Willy tries to teach his falsified ideology of the American dream to his sons, Biff and Happy. He focuses more on Biff, the football player, because Willy believes that Biff has potential to become a salesman like him. After Willy talks to his sons about his travels, he says, "...I'll show you all the towns...And they know me, boys, they know me up and down New England...I have friends. I can park my car in any street in New England, and the cops protect it like their own" (Miller 31). This quote is significant because Willy tries to persuade his sons into becoming like him by telling him about his life experiences. Not only does Willy try to take away Biff's dream of becoming a football player, Willy is abandoned by his father and his older brother, Ben who becomes lucky in Africa at twenty-one.

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