The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman

Events causing protagonist’s downfall

Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Miller's Death of a Salesman both ultimately lead to each of the protagonists' downfall. Both Gatsby and Willy arouse as two quite powerful, and wiseful men. A drastic amount of changes of events occur in these novels, which can physically and mentally influence the characters. The major influences are: dreams/goals, illusions, and the past. These are the key factors that lead to Willy and Gatsby's downfall.                            

Willy, the protagonist from Death of a Salesman has dreams throughout his life that he is hoping to accomplish. Willy’s first dream is becoming a successful business man.   An example would be when Willy says,   “And when I saw that, I realized that selling was the greatest career a man could want.   Cause what could be more satisfying than to be able to go, at the age of eighty four, into twenty or thirty different cities” (Miller 25).   Willy praises a man by the name of Dave Singleman, and this is how he comes to the conclusion that he wants to become a seller, because he is so intrigued by the way that Dave Singleman sells his products. Willy’s second dream is to become rich, like his brother Ben.   An example would be when Willy says to Ben, “Oh Ben, how did you do it? What is the answer?" (Miller 85). William often seeks Ben’s advice in asking him how he becomes rich, over such a short period of time. He wants to follow in his brother’s footsteps, and become rich also.   Both of these dreams Willy is determined to follow, but he never achieves his goal.

Gatsby, the protagonist, from The Great Gatsby, has dreams throughout his life. Gatsby is in love with Daisy Buchanan and wants to gain her attention. An example from the novel would be when Nick says “Gatsby’s entire present existence- the house, the money, the pink suits-is constructed so Daisy will notice him” (Fitzgerald 100). Gatsby invests in a house across from Daisy and Tom Buchanan so that he...