death of a salesman (role of women)

Essay by vikib6969High School, 12th gradeA-, October 2014

download word file, 7 pages 0.0


Victoria Mornhineway

May 1, 2011

How Women are portrayed in Death of a Salesman

Linda Lowman is a woman who seemed to be taken for granted in the Lowman household but that did not mean she was powerless. "The Great Depression reinforced female domesticity", which was clearly shown in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller through Linda (Koenig 1). In the time period that this play took place women did not know any other life than to stay at home and tend to their families. This being the case, Linda took care of the home but was not at all powerless because she dealt with all of Willy's problems and held the family together. Miller portrays Linda as a woman who is submissive to her husband, which exemplifies that he is an anti feminist. The 'other woman' in the play is also negatively portrayed as a stereotypical bimbo.

Throughout the play, Miller depicts Linda as powerless and highly dependent on Willy but by digging deeper into her actions, one can see is the backbone to the family.

"…bore the cross of reality for them all, supporting her husband, keeping up her calm, enthusiastic smile…" (Bigsby viii). Linda is portrayed by Miller as a very weak individual mainly by how Willy speaks to her. In one particular example Willy loses his temper at Linda and says, "Shut up!…shut up!…there's nothing wrong with him!', which leaves Linda in tears (Miller 27). The abuse that Willy exerts on Linda is not to be taken as a representation of how he actually views women. But rather, Miller makes statements which show how highly he thinks of Linda such as:

"Linda is tough. She is a fighter. Willy is prone to bully her, cut off her sentences…this is a woman who has sustained the...