Willy Loman's Treatment Of Women In Death Of A Salesman

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In the play ‘Death of a salesman’ by Arthur Miller, the playwright focuses on the demands of American society around the time of the 1950’s being the American Dream, with Miller commenting on the Illusion of America at the end of 1940 placing value on life. as well as the relationship between a father and his sons. The plays primary focus being on Willy Lomans tragic flaw being pride, not for himself but for his family and children bring about the contrasting ideas that women are collateral damage from males ego. Miller also places emphasis on the role of women in society at the time by placing them at the heart of the play. Miller uses the character Linda to present the ‘collateral damage’ that women suffer through supporting the men, providing…show more content…
This is shown when Linda acts as a servant by the stage directions “[holds his jacket for him”] and placing it on his back when he leaves the house in a bid of excitement. This reaffirms the point that Linda has to act as the maternal figure to willy, although pleased with this sudden enthusiasm in comparison to his bipolar moods in act 1, she has to still bring Willy into reality from the disillusion he suffers from. This is shown when Willy mentions that he wishes to “buy some seeds” on the way home in order to plant them in his garden; the garden and seeds will act as a substitute for his failures in life, and hopefully prove to himself his labour is worthwhile. Willy throughout the play places a materialistic view on life, he wants a material possession that hes worked up to and nurtured to feel accomplishment, instead of the constant reminder of his failings to achieve the american dream shown in his broken car and fridge. Linda has to again bring him out of his illusion gently by commenting “That’d be wonderful. But not enough sun gets back there. Nothing’ll grow any more.” This comment absorbs his dreams as she makes tries to let him and his ego down gently, acting as the consumer within the play; This indirect comment follows Jespersen’s deficit model, that women are less direct and more emotionally attached and therefore supports the idea that Linda’s main role follows a maternal one. This maternal role that she’’s taken upon herself is a result of Willy’s damaged ego, and therefore supports the idea that women are collateral

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