Death of a Salesman vs. Fifth Business, Feminist Perspective

Topics: Death of a Salesman, Gender, Marriage Pages: 4 (1473 words) Published: July 27, 2010
Independent Study Unit
ENG4U1 – Ms. Martin
Bianca Mastroianni

Comparative Essay
Fifth Business by Roberson Davies and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Throughout most of history woman have faced an imbalance within their social class opposed to the male gender. They have had fewer rights and much fewer career opportunities, the stereotype that a women’s place is in the home is due to the most socially accepted and common career of wifehood and motherhood. Through the comparison of Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller and Fifth Business by Robertson Davies the contrasts between both works are explored from the feminist perspective. The status of woman in the early and mid nineteen hundreds is reflected by the lifestyles of Dunstan’s mother Mrs. Ramsey and Linda Loman. Dunstan’s and Happy’s attitude and the ways in which they care for the woman they have been intimate with throughout their lives. Lastly examined is contrast between the impacts of Mrs. Dempster’s episode of infidelity opposed to Willy’s similar affair.

The relationship between Linda Loman and Dunstan Ramsey’s mother begins with the characteristics of their everyday lives. Linda’s character is a typical housewife of the late 1940’s, she is left with the responsibilities and the care of her husband Willy as he is going through a declining mental state. What mainly links Linda to the typical role of a silenced house wife is her unconditional love for her husband. While somewhat portrayed in control of Willy’s life and her own she is constantly belittled and degraded by her husband, although passive towards his attitude she is forced into a life of submission. Willy’s constant demands to silence Linda such as “Don’t interrupt!” (Act 1) in response to Linda’s question “Isn’t that wonderful?” (Act 1) in addition to “I’m so tired. Don’t talk anymore.”(Act 1) express his dominance as not only a male but his role as her husband. Her position is below the place of her husbands,...
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