Death of a Salesman

1. What roles do women have in “Death of a Salesman”? Comment on Willy’s relationships with them. Consider Biff and Happy’s relationships with women as well. What is Miller's purpose in creating these characters?

Remember to organize your thoughts and to construct a sound thesis statement that clearly states, in specific language appropriate to a college writing class, your attitude and analysis of the problem. The response should be approximately four-six pages

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In Death of a Salesman, woman are sharply divided into two categories: Linda and other. The men display a distinct Madonna/whore complex, as they are only able to classify their nurturing and virtuous mother against the other, easier women available (the woman with whom Willy has an affair and Miss Forsythe being two examples). The men curse themselves for being attracted to the whore-like women but is still drawn to them - and, in an Oedipal moment, Happy laments that he cannot find a woman like his mother. Women themselves are two-dimensional characters in this play. They remain firmly outside the male sphere of business, and seem to have no thoughts or desires other than those pertaining to men. Even Linda, the strongest female character, is only fixated on a reconciliation between her husband and her sons, selflessly subordinating herself to serve to assist them in their problems.