Feminist Analysis of Death of a Salesman
What’s great about this play is gives us insight into the past and focuses on an average family and provides lots of material to do a feminist analysis of. The most prominent woman figure in this play is Linda, but the male characters in this play also give us insight into women’s roles and help feed the feminist analyses To get us started, how do the roles and identities of women in this play compare to that of the male figures?
Objectivity of women
Biff and Happy
-“Take those two we had tonight, now weren’t they gorgeous creatures?” -“it gets like bowling, I just keep knockin’ them over and it doesn’t mean anything” -“a girl, y’know, they always believe what you tell ‘em” (27) -Biff was seen as successful in Willy’s eyes when he made the girls swoon in high school -Could this be influenced by Willy and their upbringing or are they just a product of their time? -They see women as achievements: When Biff and Happy are talking Happy says how he’s not happy currently because he wants “his own apartment, a car, and plenty of women” (23)
Women Don’t Have Identities
-“The Woman” that Willy has an affair with doesn’t have a name, she’s always laughing and really sexual. He slaps her butt ad she laughs and thanks him for the stockings. She picked him because he was “sweet” and “such a kidder”. She says “I’ll put you right through to the buyers?” SLEEZE. -They see their mother as the epitome of what a woman should be - The only interaction Linda has with other woman is calling them whores, after Biff and Happy leave Willy at the restaurant and she’s angry says “did you have to go to women tonight? You and your lousy rotten whores!”
What do you guys think about the character development of Linda throughout the play? Do you think she is an example of a strong or weak woman? She knows that Willy is suicidal, tries to protect him from other people, and does not lose her temper...
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