Death Of A Salesman Patriarchal Analysis

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The play Death of a Salesman, written by Arthur Miller, is a portrayal of a middle aged man caught up in his interpretation of the American Dream of becoming a successful salesman. The audience is taken through a reflection of his life with his family by his side, and the causes of his eventual downfall. Death of a Salesman depicts the “typical” 1940’s, American middle class family lifestyle as one of a patriarchal society, having surface level values, and focused on the American dream. In the play, Willy’s character is portrayed as intense, dominating, and is revered by his children and wife. Miller portrayed this patriarchal dominance through the husband-wife and father-son relationships, leading the audience to believe that an average middle class American family of the time would be one of a patriarchal society. Willy’s dominance or power over Linda is blatantly seen when in a conversation he sharply cuts her off saying “Stop interrupting!” (47). The…show more content…
Willy Loman is caught up in his interpretation of the “American Dream” of becoming a successful salesman. Willy does not only want this lifestyle for himself, but for both of his sons to follow in his footsteps of becoming a salesman. While Willy has been working as a salesman for the same company for decades he has never received any recognition for his hard work and dedication. All of his hard work and dedication was to become like the salesman who had hundreds of salesmen and buyers show up to his funeral because he was so well liked. Biff, dreams of moving out West and working freely, because this is not the idea that Willy had in mind it causes conflict between the two. Caught up in his “American Dream” Willy sacrificed his own family for his success, driving far away for sales and constantly thinking about how to be better liked resulted in his relationships with his family to wither and
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