12 December 2012
Death of a Saleswife The 1940’s and 50’s were hard times. Work was scarce, families were large, and the United States just got through with the second world war. Men were considered hard workers. They spent long work days slaving away to create a peaceful home life that seemed to never come. The average man during this time period started his career between the ages of 16 and 19. By the time they graduate high school they have already picked out their future wives and start picking out a place to start a family together. Times were very different than they are today. Women were looked down upon and given no respect. The men were always considered right in arguments and the “proper” place for a female in the house hold was the kitchen. In the play, Death of a Salesman, Linda who is Willy’s wife is talked down upon and treated like she is a possession rather than a wife or person. Death of a Salesman by Arthur, Miller depicts a time in Americas history where women were not treated with equality, walked all over, and were considered personal possessions.
As stated above women, as depicted in the play, were not treated with equality. Linda, who is Willy’s wife, is not treated with the equality she deserves. She is a loving wife that cares so much about Willy and her two sons, Biff and Happy. She slaves over a hot stove to keep the family nourished, waxes the tile floor, does the financial papers, and so much more. Linda is a strong minded individual. This may not be agreeable to most readers, but she looks out after her family, provides anything they would like, and keeps the peace between the family members. This is normal for women of this time period. Make the man happy while the wife stays home and works till her hands are cracked with blisters. She is also strong minded in the sense that she does not want confrontation in her family. She does not tell Biff or Happy about how Willy is trying to kill himself. Rather than speak up
Cited: Schlondorff, Volker, dir. Death of a Salesman. Perf. Dustin Hoffman, Kate Reid, John Malkovich, and Stephen Lang. Image Entertainment, 1985. DVD.