威利的榜样、Dave Singleman和Ben的成功，就是他所设想的美国梦。他只是将最终产品可视化，成功，而不是他们为了取得成功所经历的过程。威利的父亲卖了长笛，并以此为生。在一次与他过去思想的碰撞中，威利听着他的兄弟本，他指的是戴夫·辛格曼，他说:“伟大的发明家，父亲。”有了一个小玩意，他一周赚的钱比你一辈子赚的都多。威利认为，作为一名推销员，就像戴夫·辛格曼(Dave Singleman)那样，他会自动获得成功，而不是他必须为之工作的东西。物质上的成功，如金钱、奢侈品、财富和声望是他的目标，也是他对成功的定义。另一方面，通过努力工作来实现自我满足和幸福并不是。通过只关注美国梦的外在表象，威利忽略了获得它所需要的艰苦工作和奉献的现实。他不断地专注于成功，被人喜爱，并以“完美”的工作，“完美”的家庭，以及“完美”的生活来实现梦想，从来没有离开过他的头脑。
The success attained by Willy's role models, Dave Singleman, and Ben, is what he envisions to be the American Dream. He only visualizes the end product, being successful, and not the process they may have gone through to achieve that success. Willy's father sold flutes and made that his living. In an encounter with his thoughts of the past, Willy listens to Ben, his brother, who refers to Dave Singleman by saying, "Great Inventor, Father. With one gadget he made more in a week than a man like you could make in a lifetime". Willy assumes that by being a salesman, like Dave Singleman is that he will automatically be guaranteed success, and that it was not something that he would have to work for. Material success, such as money, luxury, and wealth, and popularity are his goals and his definition of success. On the other hand, self-fulfilment and happiness through hard work is not. By only focusing on the outer appearance of the American Dream, Willy ignores the reality of the hard work and dedication required to obtain it. His constant preoccupation with being successful, being well-liked, and attaining that Dream with the "perfect" job, the "perfect" family, and the "perfect" life, never leaves his mind.