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Death of a Salesman
Transcript of Death of a Salesman
Death of a Salesman
By: Ryan Christian, Amber Cody, Katie Huott, Elaine Roman, Brenna Smith, and Julia Whitworth
Ideal Family during the 1940's
Linda's Role as a Woman
What is expected of her?
Linda being a wife and a mother, has to take care of the house and be the one that takes orders. Linda always tries to please Willy, she never does anything for herself.
Through the use of his characters in
Death of a Salesman
, Arthur Miller portrays the ideal gender roles with the unraveling family dynamics of the Lomans.
Cult of Domesticity
Willy's Role as a Man
How does Linda embody the "Cult..."?
**There were four things they believed that women should be:
-More religious than men
-Pure in heart, mind, and body
-Submit to their husbands
-Stay at home
What does she do that moves away from the expected?
Linda stops playing her role of being a housewife that does everything for the men, once she gets angry with her sons. She told Biff “Pick up this stuff, I’m not your maid any more. Pick it up, you bum, you!” (92). She refuses to be the typical female of the time period.
The period of 1820 to 1860 saw the rise in America of an ideology of feminine behavior and an ideal of womanliness that has come to be known as the “Cult of True Womanhood” or “Cult of Domesticity.”
Counter Argument #1
Arthur Miller wasn't explicitly commenting on gender roles, he was just discussing what was the "normal" during that time period.
He treated women like this during his life, which wasn't thought of as unfair.
This was before a feminist movement, where women didn't think anything of being told what to do all the time. Women didn't think they were being treated as less than equal.
3 Main Arguments
1. Cult of Domesticity: Role of Women
2. Role of Men
3. Idealistic Family
Counter Argument #2
Gender roles were not relevant.
Miller was just commenting on the American Dream, and how Willy wanted to be liked by everyone.
Willy also wants everyone to live up to his expectations.
Arthur Miller's use of the characters in the Loman family portray life of the typical 1950's
The Loman's family would be considered part of the "norm" and similiar to mosr other families
Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. New York: Penguin Books, 1986. Print.
Irons, Charles F. "The Cult of Domesticity, Southern Style." ProQuest. Johns Hopkins University Press. June 2010. Web. 1 Jan 2014.
Hart, Shannon P. "Female Leadership and the 'Cult of Domrsticity.' ProQuest. Information Age Publishing. 2011. Web. 1 Jan 2014.
Happy and Biff's Roles as Sons
What is expected of them?
Willy has tried to teach them to become salesmen.
Happy followed in his father's footsteps and expectations by becoming a salesman and making money.
What is expected of him?
Willy is a husband and the father of two sons. He is the dominant figure, who has to sustain a steady pay and provide for his family.
He is the one in charge of the family and the one who gives the orders.
Men don't have to respect women.
What happens that is unexpected?
Biff turns out to not be cut out to be salesmen. He can't even keep a job, long enough to support himself, leading him to do criminal things.
Role of Men
-Men have to financially support the family
-Men were expected to go out and have jobs
while women would stay home and take care of the house
-Most decisions of the household would go through the men, they were considered in charge
-Happy says "I’m gonna show you and everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vain. He had a good dream. It’s the only dream you can have — to come out number-one man. He fought it out here, and this is where I’m gonna win it for him." (Miller 104).