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Subjugaiton Of Women In Death Of A Salesman

2301 words - 9 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 married Igne Morath as an attempt to fill the void of not having a companion. Miller’s overall lack of concern of the feelings of women reflected in his writings This companionship that Miller desired throughout his adulthood led him to engage with many women, and his multiple relationships with women in his adulthood directly relates to the philandering actions that Happy and Willy promote and Biff ultimately rejects in Miller’s play Death of a Salesman1. Through the subordinate view of women that Willy holds, the treatment of women Happy engages in follow his father’s greedy motives, and biff’s dynamic change in his view of women, Death of a Salesman portrays the subordinate view of women through objectification and subjugation.
As a struggling salesman, Willy does not achieve the success and attention that he desires; consequently, he subjugates the women involved in his life by claiming superiority over Linda and involving himself in affairs to cope for the disappointments of himself. Willy’s motives of personal gain through subjugating women remain constant, making him a static character in this play. 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...

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