Portrayal of Women in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay
1679 Words7 Pages
Portrayal of Women in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
Although Death of a Salesman is mainly about a salesman named Willy Loman, the almost hidden presence of the women in the novel goes all too often unnoticed. Linda Loman seems to be the glue that holds the Loman clan together, as Willy, Biff, and Happy are all deluded in one way or another. Arthur Miller depicts Willy's wife in a very specific way, and this is a very crucial part of the story. He depicts the other women in the story in ways that complement Linda's distinct nature. Although Linda's role as a woman in society is extremely limited, she is a heroic character, both wife and mother to some very sad and twisted characters.
Linda is technically the female…show more content…
Here is the dialogue that tells us about her- and her relation to her husband.
HOWARD'S VOICE. "Go on, say something." (Pause.) "Well, you gonna talk?"
HIS WIFE. "I can't think of anything."
HOWARD'S VOICE. "Well, talk--it's turning.~
HIS WIFE (shyly, beaten). "Hello." (Silence.) "Oh Howard I can't talk into this . . ."
HOWARD (snapping the machine off). That was my wife. (1199)
There is, in fact, a third woman in Howard's life, maid. Howard says that if he can't be at home when the Jack Benny program comes on, he uses the wire recorder. He tells "the maid to turn the radio on when Jack Benny comes on, and this automatically goes on with the radio...." (1199). In short, the women in Howard's world exist to serve (and to worship) him.
Another woman who seems to have existed only to serve men is Willy Loman's mother. On one occasion, in speaking with Ben, Willy remembers being on her lap, and Ben, on learning that his mother is dead, utters a platitudinous description of her, "Fine specimen of a lady, Mother" (1183), but that's as much as we learn of her. Willy is chiefly interested in learning about his father, who left the family and went to Alaska. Ben characterizes the father as "a very great and a very wild-hearted man" (1185), but the fact that the father left his
Essay about Subjugaiton of women in death of a salesman
2254 Words10 Pages
Arthur Miller said about women, “I like the company of women. Life is boring without them” (guardian.co.uk). The company that Miller believes women provide becomes an important aspect in the decisions he makes in his adulthood. During his adulthood, decided to engage in short-lived relationships and marry three different women. Quickly after college, Miller married his college girlfriend, Mary Grace Slattery, and started a family with her. Soon afterwards, Miller met and immediately connected with iconic Marilyn Monroe. He later decided to leave his wife of six years and two children to marry Monroe. After being together for two years, Miller decided to divorce the suicidal Marilyn Monroe. After his decision to leave Monroe, Miller…show more content…
Willy’s foundation for the subjugation and objectification he treats women with is apparent in the lesson he teaches Biff about women. Willy remembers this lesson in the beginning of his first flashback, emphasizing the importance the lesson has on Willy’s life. After hearing about Biff’s interaction with women, Willy tells Biff, “Just wanna be careful with those girls, Biff…. Don’t make any promises…. Because a girl, y’know, they always believe what you tell’em, and you’re very young, Biff, you’re too young to be talking seriously to girls” (16). Willy’s incentive for teaching Biff this lesson is to inform Biff about the seriousness girls believe relationships are with men, so Willy informs Biff to stay away from these relationships. Willy’s teachings reflect his objectifying view of women because he encourages short-lived relationships without the consideration of the feelings a woman may feel through the lack of commitment in the relationships. Not only does Willy objectify women by not considering the feelings they may have for certain actions, he also subordinates Linda through his attempts to assert his dominance. Within the first few moments of the play, Willy’s subordinate view towards Linda becomes known. Returning home from work, Willy is exhausted. Linda, feeling Willy needs to eat after a long day of work, convinces Willy to eat a sandwich she would prepare for him. When Willy notices the cheese he normally eats replaced by a new