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Confined Spirits’ Struggle: Housewife-mother Figures in Arthur Miller’s Early Plays

DOI: 10.5539/ells.v2n3p31

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Abstract:

Mainly based on textual analysis, the present article attempts to offer a relatively comprehensive and detailed look into Miller’s depiction of dramatic housewife-mother figures in a gendered world in his early plays especially in All My Sons and Death of a Salesman and elaborate his female awareness from a feminist point of view and via employing the historical-biographical approach. In his early plays, by depicting his major housewife-mother figures—Kate Keller and Linda Loman as both wives and mothers according to the social condition and dominant cultural value, Miller is still possible to expose their bitterness and frustration in the traditional gender world by depicting them as both victims and victimizers under the patriarchal society. And he also endows them with courage and strength to express their resentment against the male-dominance and release their confined consciousness. So, the portrayal of these housewife-mother images has demonstrated that Miller can represent confined housewife-mothers sympathetically, authentically and admirably in his early plays.

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