The American Dream as it is interpreted by many (certainly by Willy) states that a person can be successful at whatever they choose as long as they work hard at it and are well liked. Most picture the happy family in the suburban home with 2 children. This was the portrait that Willy tried to show to the world, but in the end, he was living a lie. He was never successful no matter what he attempted because he wasn't good at what he chose to do for work. He made excuses and refused to find something that he was more suited for.