Ethan KreiselMr. MinettJanuary 18, 2018English 11, Period 8A Race The American dream could be compared to a 100-meter hurdle race. All of the competitors are dreaming that they will come in first place. The competitors have to jump over the hurdles and hopefully not fall. If the runners do end up falling, they have to be resilient and get back up to finish the race. Willy and Beneatha are not competing in a race, but they both are competing in life. Although life is not a matter of who comes in first and last, life has its fair share of hurdles to overcome. In Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, Willy faces hardships that he has to overcome in order to reach his goals. Beneatha, from Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun, also has to face hardships in order to achieve her goals. Both Willy and Beneatha are in a race to reach their dreams. Even though Willy and Beneatha share comparable goals and face similar hardships, Beneatha proves to be the most resilient, thus justifying her to be the most American.Both Willy and Beneatha share goals that they would like to achieve by the end of their life. Willy Loman knew what job and lifestyle he wanted from a young age. Willy works as a traveling salesman for Howard’s firm. Willy got the motivation to be a salesman from Dave Singleman. During a conversation with Howard, Willy explains why he is a salesman and where he got the idea to become a salesman. Willy says, “And old Dave, he’d go up to his room… and without even leaving his room, at the age of eighty-four, he made his living. And when I saw that, I realized that selling was the greatest career a man could want.” (81). Willy aspires to have the same job and lifestyle that Dave Singleman had. Willy sets his goals after a person who he looks up to and tries to model their success. Beneatha on the other hand chooses to become a doctor. Beneatha’s brother, Walter Younger, does not want her to become a doctor because of the cost of medical school. Walter wonders why she wants to become a doctor and asks, “Who the hell told you you had to be a doctor? If you so crazy ’bout messing ‘ round with sick people – then go be a nurse like other women” (38). Beneatha has to attend to medical school in order to become a doctor. Unfortunately, medical school is very expensive, which upsets Walter. Walter suggests to Beneatha to become a nurse rather than pursuing her goal to become a doctor. Although completely different, Willy and Beneatha both have goals of a profession they would like to pursue. Willy has high hopes and goals for his two sons Biff and Happy. Willy tries to raise his sons to well liked and respected by his peers. Willy’s neighbor, Charley, also has a son named Bernard. Unlike Happy and Biff, Bernard cares more about getting good grades than being respected and well liked. Willy asks Happy, “Bernard is not well liked, is he?” Biff says, “He’s liked, but he’s not well liked.” Willy says, “Bernard can get the best marks in school, y’understand, but when he gets out in the business world, y’understand, you are going to be five times ahead of him.” (33). Willy claims that Bernard will not be successful in the business world and that Biff will because he is well liked. Willy wants his two sons to be well liked which he thinks will correlate with them being successful. Willy wants his sons to be successful and wants to be a successful salesman. Beneatha also has multiple goals. During a conversation Beneatha brings up taking guitar lessons, Mama says, “How come you done taken it in your mind to learn to play the guitar?” Ruth responds with “I just want to, that’s all… I just want to learn to play the guitar. Is there anything wrong with that?” (47). Beneatha wants to learn to play the guitar just for the fun of it. She has many goals and wants to learn more about herself. wants to try new things in her life and believes that there is nothing wrong with that. Although completely different, Beneatha and Willy both have goals. Along with similar goals, both Beneatha and Willy have to overcome hardships that they face while trying to achieve their goals. Willy wants his two sons to be well liked so that they will do well in the business world. Biff went to see an old friend of his to try and get an investment on a startup. Biff’s old friend did not care to talk to him, or even see him. Willy was excited to see Biff going out trying to make something happen. Biff goes to a restaurant with his brother and his dad to talk about the outcome. Biff is having trouble conveying the message to his dad that he failed because he knows all Willy ever wanted was for his two sons to succeed. Willy says that Biff should go back and have lunch with him, Biff has different thoughts on his mind. Willy says, “Biff, you’re going to go to that lunch tomorrow, or-” Biff claims, “I can’t go. I’ve got no appointment.” Willy exclaims, “Are you spiting me?” (113). Willy claims that Biff is deliberately hurting his feelings because he will not go to lunch tomorrow. Willy is finally realizing that his hopes of Biff and Happy being well liked and successful is starting to slip away. Willy needs to find the strength to overcome this news and not let it bother him. Beneatha also needs strength to overcome her hardships. Lena Young, Mama, receives a check for the death of her husband through life insurance. Mama has not decided what to spend the 10,000 dollars on, whether it be: Beneatha’s education, a startup for Walter’s liquor store, or a new house. Mama decides to use some of the money for a new house, and the reset for Beneatha’s education and Walters store. Mama tells Willy, “I want you to take this money and take three thousand dollars and put it into a savings account for Beneatha’s medical schooling…It ain’t much, but it’s all I got in the world” (107). Mama admits that the money going for Beneatha’s schooling is not much, but it is all that she has to give. Although 3000 dollars is a lot, it is not enough to pay for her education. Both Willy and Beneatha have to overcome hardships and still try and achieve their goals. Willy has been working for Howard and his dad for thirty-four years as a traveling salesman. Willy is starting to get old and can not travel every day for his work. He goes to talk to Howard about staying in town for his job. Howard was not so keen on allowing Willy to stay in the office. Willy is angered by this and starts to yell at Howard. Howard says,”Willy, you can’t go to Boston for us… I don’t want you to represent us. I’ve been meaning to tell you for a long time now.” (83). Now that Willy is fired he has no source of income, and to top it off, his two sons are not living up to their father’s expectations. Willy’s goal to become a successful salesman is going to be very challenging considering he just got fired. Similar to Willy’s dismissal from work, Beneatha faces financial trouble as well. Mama trusted Walter to deliver some of the insurance money to the bank, and for Walter to keep the rest. Walter did not fulfill this task and ended up investing all of the money. Mama puts the clues together after Walter’s friend, Bobo, comes over to convey the news that they lost the money. Mama declares, “Son-Son…Is it gone? Son, I gave you sixty-five hundred dollars. Is it gone? All of it? Beneatha’s money too?” Walter embarrassingly says, “Mama…I never went to the bank at all…” Mama reiterates, “You mean…your sister’s money…you used that too…Walter?…” Walter responds with “Yessss! All of it…It’s gone…”(129). Not only was Mama upset about Walter betraying her trust, but also he lost Beneatha’s medical schooling money. Beneatha’s aspirations of becoming a doctor are nearly impossible due to Walter losing the money. Beneatha and Willy both had hardships that they faced while trying to reach their goals in life.Unlike comparable goals and similar hardships, Beneatha shows resilience which ultimately proves Beneatha to be the most American. Willy decides that after being fired he has to kill himself in order for his two sons to reach the goals Willy has for them. Sadly, Willy did not tell his kids or his wife that he was going to kill himself for the money. At the funeral, his son, Happy, exclaims, “I’m gonna show you and everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vain. He had a good dream. It’s the only dream you can have-to come out number-one man. He fought it out here, and this is where I’m gonna win it for him.” (138-139). Willy was unable to persevere through the hardships that he faced and ended up dead. Happy hopes to achieve his father’s goal of his sons being well liked. Willy’s lack of resilience shows that he can not be considered the most American. Beneatha responds differently when faced with challenges. After Beneatha finds out that Walter lost the money, she gets very upset and emotional. A little while after that, Asagai comes over to talk to her. She tells him that Walter lost the money and why she wanted to be a doctor in the first place. Beneatha says, “It used to be so important to me. I wanted to cure. It used to matter. I used to care. I mean about people and how their bodies hurt…” Asagai asks, “And you’ve stopped carrying.” Beneatha responds with “Yes- I think so…Because it doesn’t seem deep enough, close enough to what ails mankind!” (133). Rather than killing herself like Willy, Beneatha takes a more mature root and decides that becoming a doctor just is not important to her anymore. Beneatha is nearly unphased by the loss of the money and decides to no longer becoming a doctor. Unlike Beneatha, Willy Loman was affected mentally by all the bills he had to pay, and from being fired. Willy could not face the fact that his dreams did not come true so he took his own life. During the funeral, Linda tries to figure out why Willy committed suicide. Linda says, “I can’t understand it. At this time especially. First time in thirty-five years we were just about free and clear. He only needed a little salary. He was even finished with the dentist.” Charley rebuttals with “No man only needs a little salary.”(137). Charley understands that no man deserves little pay, and tries to comfort Linda during the difficult time. Linda claims that they just paid off the dental bill, and did not need money. What Linda does not understand is the reason he killed himself had nothing to do with bills, it had to do with his two sons, and him being let go. Beneatha on the other hand ends up persevering and eventually showing success. Out of the blue, Asagai asks her to marry him and move to Africa. Beneatha does not know how to respond, she is quite shocked by this random proposal. She told Asagai that she would need time to think it over. She tells Mama, “Mama, Asagai asked me to marry him today and go to Africa-” Mama replies, “He did? You ain’t old enough to marry nobody- Darling, that ain’t no bale of cotton, please handle it so we can sit in it again.” (149-150). After losing the money that she was promised, Beneatha shows resilience and decides that she wants to get married. Even after she was unable to reach her goals, Beneatha does not let that get under her skin. Beneatha decides not to give up even after things do not go her way, unlike Willy. When comparing Willy and Beneatha, Beneatha is the most resilient, causing her to be the best candidate for most American. Even though Willy and Beneatha share comparable goals and face similar hardships, Beneatha proves to be the most resilient, thus justifying her to be the most American. Willy and Beneatha shared very different goals, but none the less they both had goals that they would like to achieve. Beneatha and Willy both fell on a hurdle. The difference is that Beneatha got up and ran to the next hurdle, and Willy decided to quit the race. In the end, Beneatha rose to the top even after losing the money she was promised, justifying her to be considered most American.Works CitedMiller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. Penguin Plays, 1976.Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin In The Sun. Vintage Books, 1944.