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Death of a Salesman: Feminist Lense
Transcript of Death of a Salesman: Feminist Lense
Plot Overview: Feminist Lens
Follows the life of Willy Loman and his family throughout the last bit of his life
The whole play is centered around men, with only one woman ever being mentioned by name
The main plot surrounds Willy and his two sons exploring the workplace, which also hints that the office is no place for a woman
Background Information of Time Period
After the first wave of feminism where women's suffrage and educational rights were fought
After the Second World War, when women began to join the workplace
Prior to the second wave of feminism, and women were still seen as inferior to men
Willy is a typical business man of the 1940’s who becomes a little too obsessed with the American Dream
He is often seen mistreating his wife Linda, cutting her off mid-sentence and blatantly stating that her opinion is not important to him
Feminists of today would jump to criticize the way Willy treats his wife, and analyze the lack of respect he has for her
Linda is characterized as a supportive, loving wife who endures the faults of her husband
She stands by her husband through all of his many failed attempts to achieve the American Dream
Willy constantly interrupts her speaking, restricting her from expressing her opinions
Modern Feminists would be upset by Linda’s passive attitude towards her husband’s mistreatment of her
1940's Views on Gender Roles and Feminism
1) The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities
2) Organized activity in support of women's rights and interests
3) The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
reveals that women are considered to be in second place within society, and that their needs are not nearly as important as a man’s
Men are also seen as the prime decision makers and money spenders of the family
Overall, there are many aspects within this play that demonstrate gender inequality, and events that would be a point of concern for modern-day feminists.