I don t think there is a person alive that isn t filled with dreams, goals and ideals. These things are a part of life and human nature. We all have the inbred desire for a good life. That is we all want to have a nice home, a good job and money, a place to raise our kids without fear or worry, and everything our hearts desire.
Take Death of a Salesman . For Willy Loman life was full of dreams, goals, and lofty ideals about life. Willy dreamed of being rich and successful, as most people do. When Willy realized his dreams for himself likely would never become reality, he turned to his children. He pushed them to be what he thought was the right kind of person for success. Willy believed that one needed to be liked, respected, loved, and good looking to be successful. If you had all these things success would just fall into place. He drove his children to be all these things and more, so that they would succeed where he had failed and redeem him in some way. He spent his entire life working towards this dream, which is OK, but Willy took it too far. His dreams for himself were never realized and when his dreams for his children fell through as well he went nuts. Willy began escaping into a dream world, going back in his mind to when times were better before everything went swirling down the drain. Willy refused to accept his failure and let it eat away at him until it killed him.
Miller s message in Death of a Salesman is clear. Don t let failed dreams and unrealized goals get to you. There are many levels of success, and if you look to the good in your life and the happiness that does exist you ll realize you are a success, even if things aren t exactly how you planned.
Another example of people working towards a goal and dream is that of the Joad family in Grapes of Wrath. They began in Salisaw Oklahoma, where they were being run off their land like hundreds and thousands of other farmers in the Midwest and Central United States. So, for the Joads, and the hoards, the dream became California. The land of rich green valleys and fruit fields where they could start over, where they could settle on a new piece of land and work to feed their families. It wasn t easy for them either. They struggled day to day with death and sadness, hunger and starvation and the incredible injustices inflicted on them by the rich few in California who saw the migrants as the new class of serfs.
However in their struggle they learned new things about life and people. If you re in need, in hurt, or in trouble go to poor people they re the only ones that ll help. The migrants learned a lot about human nature, greed, dreams, and reality. Moving across those thousands of miles was definitely a life lesson.
Steinbecks message appears to be that dreams are something you have to work at. They won t just happen, no matter how much you wish, hope, and pray for them. Life is a constant struggle that you have to work at.
Dreams are a normal part of life. Everyone has them and that s good. Dreams are something that keeps us going, gives us goals to strive for and a reason to live, but they are not the only reason, and they do not always come true, out of the failed goals and unrealized dreams of life come new and better ones. Ones that we can achieve and we must learn to find happiness in what we have, not dwell on what we could have had, been or done.