Masculinity In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

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When Willy has finally realized that he will never live up to these unrealistic expectations, he decides to kill himself. Willy’s ideas about masculinity have caused him to go insane; he could never obtain the status, and power to be a true “man”. When he dies, he is jobless, poor, and nobody shows up to his funeral. The only things that he leaves behind are his ideas about masculinity, which his son, Happy wants to carry on. This is a continuous cycle of our gendered society, and the importance placed in the idea of masculinity. While Happy has seen how crazy his father is, he chooses to ignore this. Kimmel argues that, “Individuals will come to be gendered and negotiate their ways toward some sense of internal consistency, despite contradictions they may have towards their proscribed roles. There is a sense of shared reality or understanding for these constructs, which rarely gets questioned” (Kimmel 273). In one scene, Happy talks to Biff about how their father…show more content…
In a conversation with Biff he says, “I gotta show some of those pompous, self-important executives over there that Hap Loman can make the grade” (Miller 1848). Just like his father he thinks that in order to be masculine, you have to show your power and status. There is again that competition between male figures who wish to prove their self worth. Happy is also less concerned with how he feels about his manhood, and more about what his male peers think. In the final scene Happy ideas about masculinity are further proven when he says, “He has a good dream. It’s the only dream you can have — to come out number-one man” (Miller 1905). When Happy flat out states that he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps, it shows he has also received his father’s ideas about masculinity. Often times, people find it hard to break away from things that have gone on for decades, and they believe this is honestly the only way to

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