Dad, I Have My Own Dream!

“The Death of a Salesman” is the story of a family struggling through hardship of economic recession in the aftermath of the Great Depression. Willy Loman, the main character in the play and the father of the family, is an old salesman who is not happy with his current status in his career and his relationship with his sons. Since Willy hasn’t been successful in fulfilling his own dream of becoming a famous, rich, and well liked salesman, he puts his sons, especially Biff, under pressure to accomplish the dream for him.

It is very painful, in my opinion, to prevent others from following their own dreams. Each person has his own vision about life, and based on his interest, has the right to imagine a future for himself and build the palace of his dream in his mind. It’s true that parents devote their life to provide the best life for their children, and their only wish is to see their children happy and successful; however, they do not have the right to define the meaning of success and happiness from their own perspective for their children and dictate them how to live. Instead, parents, while standing beside their children and supporting them, should let their children touch the life with their own hands and experience harshness and softness of life exposure on them. It’s a great joy to discover one’s own dream and pursuing it as a target in life. Now imagine how cruel it is, with the name of parenthood rights, to deprive a child from finding and discovering such an important reality.

I have seen many Willy Lomans around myself in my life. One of them really drew me crazy. He was a very hardworking father who wished his children to have university education and bring pride to the family. That was his definition of success, which he himself never could achieve. He tried his best and worked from dawn to dusk to provide the best facilities for his children, and he did, but his expectations were very high. All the time, he blamed his children for their failure in entering university. His sons fought with him everyday and finally ran away from home. His daughters had to bear all his nags the moments their father was at home. I saw how they suffered while they struggled to live the way their father expected them to. They wished to get free from that cage named “home,” but being a girl, their only solution was marriage.

When I saw how miserable both the father and the children were, I promised myself that I will never steal the joy of discovering their own life dream from my children, that I would not expect my children to be me, that I will help and support them to become themselves.

One Response to Dad, I Have My Own Dream!

  1. meihuilan says:

    Dear Masooma,
    I felt sad when I read this blog entry. I can understand your feelings about the fact that many parents pass their hopes, expectations and dreams on their children. You are definitely right that parents should “let their children touch the life with their own hands” (I really like this sentence; it’s very beautiful), as children themselves have their own dreams and thoughts. However, sometimes parents do need their children to fulfill their dreams since they can’t do it by themselves. For example, in the poem “My Family,” the Great-grandfather’s unfulfilled dream needs his next generation to make it come true, and in The Joy Luck Club mothers also give their daughters a lot of pressure to make them become perfect. In these cases, it seems not very harsh that parents pass their dreams on their children; perhaps there is one more thing sitting behind those expectations – understanding between generations – which Willy and Biff don’t have. But anyway, I like your interpretation; it was wonderful.

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