Night Mother Play Analysis

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ionship are clearly those ideas which no doubt emerged from the very soil of American land but now transcend international boundaries. Although many critics have brought forth gender specific responses to the play, the theme that may transcend all social, political and economic boundaries is one of empowerment of an individual to take control of her own destiny. Jessie’s new found power, confidence and determination is evident in a particularly revealing scene when she responds to Thelma’s appeal to not give up, and her request that they could “have more talks like tonight” (75), and she [Thelma] would “pay more attention” (75) by stating, I’m not giving up! This is the other thing I’m trying . . . this will work. That’s why I picked it .…show more content…
A critic Dolan compares ““ ‘night, Mother”” to “Death of a Salesman” in that both Jessie Cates and Willy Loman have been denied the mythic American dream and both end their lives in an attempt to change their situations. However, Dolan distinguishes Willy’s plight from that of Jessie by arguing that Willy leaves a monetary “legacy” to his family, whereas “Jessie’s death leaves no similar legacy to her mother and in effect wipes out even the heritage of regeneration Thelma might have left at her own death” . Willy Loman also actively pursued his distorted idea of the American dream. He placed the highest value on nothing more than a myth and an illusion. The Lomans do not realize that the security and contentment they desire are not commodities that can be purchased especially in a land like America. Even if he pursued the wrong dream, what is significant is that Willy believed that he was worth more dead than alive. Ultimately the lines of reality and illusion blur for Willy as his wistful fantasies take over him and kept him blinded about the American dream . Illusion becomes reality for him. In contrast, Jessie Cates does not actively pursue the mythic American dream. Clearly, loss pervades her life and she perceives that her own life is meaningless; however, she does not confuse reality with illusion. In fact, she takes inventory of her life and chooses to gain control of her own…show more content…
As a critic Demastes points out, “The physical loss of life involved in Jessie’s suicide has perhaps been overemphasized by too many critics. By analyzing Jessie’s epilepsy, one should look more abstractly at the suicide being an act of a woman choosing, in one final gesture, to take control of her destiny, especially in the light of the fact that she has already spiritually lost her
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