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Death of a Salesman seen through the eyes of Feminsism.

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Death of a Salesman seen through the eyes of Feminsism.

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  • November 27, 2003
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Literary Criticism is how we analyze something as a work of art. Literary Criticism can be a guide to how a work is interpreted and how we evaluate something for any principles and morals it may bestow upon us as readers. Criticism challenges artists and readers to set high standards in the appreciation of past and present works of art. When viewing Death of a Salesman many interpretive lenses can be used to see various things in the story and in the diverse characters. The Feminism of Linda Loman is undetectable at the beginning of the play but unexpectedly appears and displays some deeper motives in the character of Linda.

The nature and disposition of Linda Loman, even before she enters the play, is one of kindness, love and a deep admiration for her husband Willy, despite his faults. Arthur Miller superbly solidifies our prejudices on Linda Loman by introducing her as the victim of the story, having to constantly tolerate and endure the massive dreams, the temper and the little cruelties of Willy Loman (pg 12). Our pity is extended to Linda as we have been misled to believe that she is merely a frightened victim of Willy's irritated way of life. Even with the stage directions on Page 13 it is established that the things that Linda does are carefully and delicately done when she is dealing Willy.

Our mindset about Linda Loman is established perfectly by Arthur Miller, but then he shatters it. Feminist movements in the past have usually involved political agendas, it is only in recent times has literature been associated with feminist ideals. Mr. Miller presents Linda as a quiet suffering housewife of a dreaming, disillusioned husband. Only as the play develops further do we begin to be shocked by the feminist overtones present in Linda's behavior. We lose our confidence in the apparent innocence of Linda by Page 57 where her fixation on Willy's success is obvious. Mistakenly we merely think that Linda is arguing with Biff and defending her husband....