Femininity In Death Of A Salesman

Decent Essays
In the play Death of a Salesman, the role of the women is very distinctive. The role of women in this play is defined greatly as a stereotypical, old fashioned woman, with little to no dimension as stand alone characters. In historical terms, this play is accurate to the time period. However that does not necessarily change the fact that the play has many instances of gender inequality and stereotypes riddled throughout. In the instance of the character literally named “The Woman,” her entire character is solely based around her sexual relationship with Willy. This is an example of how femininity in Death of a Salesman tends to rely on the role of men. In this male-centric play, the role of The Woman is symbolic in that she is almost dehumanized…show more content…
On page 39, in the first scene with The Woman, he gifts her stockings and then promptly yells at Linda for mending her stockings. The stockings generally seem to represent femininity as a whole in the play. Willy’s stark contrast of feelings depending on who is the one wearing them is a representation of his patriarchal power in this society. However, later in the story, The Woman disrupts this system by demanding that Willy gives her the stockings he promised her. While subtle, this event shows the female archetype of the whole play flipping against Willy, coincidentally in the midst of his downfall. The fact that the lack of power he has on The Woman is seen as a major plot point against him in the story of his deterioration shows that in order for Willy to have success and happiness in his life, he needs to have control over women. Willy lacks control over any other aspect of his life, therefore he gets the control he craves through women, as it is the one thing he has the ability to control. This control that he needs is often satisfied through Linda, as Willy throughout the story tends to do things such as constantly cutting her off mid sentence, and forbidding her from anything he does not approve of. Willy’s power over her is a factor contributing to her lack of…show more content…
The men are the ones who are working, paying the bills, and making all the decisions. However, during the requiem, in Linda’s final monologue, she states that she made the last payment on the house. The death of Willy Loman is not as much of a death as it is a birth. Willy’s death gives new life to Linda, as she is no longer tied down to a borderline abusive husband controlling and ordering her every thought and action. When she made the final payment on Willy’s house, she took back the role that has been stolen from her, and ironically used it to pay the thief’s
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