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Exploring Gender Roles in the 1940s With Reference Death of a Salesman - Research Paper Example

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Discussing gender roles in the American society in the 1940s with reference to the play, the “Death of a Salesman,” this research paper will address various issues such as the rigid view of gender roles in the family unit, the lack of social flexibility for women to be providers…
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Exploring Gender Roles in the 1940s With Reference Death of a Salesman
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Download file to see previous pages The rigid view of gender roles in the family In the play, the “death of a salesman,” there is a clear distinction between the gender roles in the family unit. The story, revolving around the family of the main character, Willy, shows the differences in the gender roles between the men and women in the family. While the role of men was to provide for the family, women held the role of looking after the house and helping their husbands out (Gentry and Lee 309). This, as the character of Willy and his wife Linder portrayed, was the actual scene in the family then. Willy, with the high ambitions of becoming a successful man, single-handed works in order to provide for his small family. Through the flashbacks to the time when he was a young family, both held the same roles. Subsequently, there was a clear distinction between these roles between the two. ...
Women, currently hold two different roles, one of looking after their homes and that of helping in providing for their families (Morin 438). Before the era of gender equality set in, there was a significant difference. According to Morin (437), women did not take part in the financial issues facing the family, as men were the primary breadwinners. They cooked for their husbands, took care of the children, washed and entertained their husbands. This, as Gentry and Lee (309) observe, was a role naturally determined and, one that nobody could alter. Regardless of their level of education, women remained under their men. To some extent, this play portrays the plight of women in American society during this time. Although in some instances Willy paid attention to his wife, this did not happen until his health condition became worse. Willy never honored his wife’s advice, until the day he walked home in a critical health condition, and his wife became more concerned about his health. Only then did he agree that he would buy her idea of talking to his boss on a job that would keep around New York. Perhaps, from the flashbacks that he had of his brother’s departure to Alaska, and the frequency with which Ben’s images haunted him, Willy blamed Linda for his desolate state and stalled success. Despite working extremely hard, he had nothing to show out of it. On the other hand, his brother Ben, who had left for Alaska had discovered a gold mine in Africa and was now an extremely rich person. Before Ben left for Alaska, he had persuaded Willy to join him.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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