Gender Discrimination in “Death of a Salesman”

               

 When I was reading the first act of the play “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, I was pondering about some gender issues that I found absolutely discriminatory.

 The main character of this play Willy Loman exemplifies the conventional masculinity (!) prevailing in our male dominated society. Willy Loman, who is the main earning member of the family, is always insulting his wife Linda when she wants to tell anything about the children; moreover, he is engaged in an extra-marital affair with a woman, and giving stocking to her as a gift while his wife is mending a pair of stockings herself. He is cheating on her wife Linda, who not only loves him but also highly admires him. On the other hand, the author portrays Linda’s character as a traditional woman who is dedicated to her family, and who doesn’t have any opinion in the decision-making of her family affairs. Her husband Willy is always insulting her whenever she speaks in any family affairs, and she doesn’t protest against him. In the act 1, we see when Linda is telling Willy about her son Biff that “he is too rough with the girls, and all the mothers are afraid of him” (13), Willy just insults her saying “Shut Up!” (14). Millar portrays another character Happy who is the epitome of virility. Happy considers girls to be used as the objects to satisfy sexual desire only. Although he himself is having sex with girls, he criticized Miss Forsythe saying, “Isn’t that a shame now? A beautiful girl like that? That’s why I can’t get married. There’s not a good woman in a thousand” (38). Moreover, Happy’s allusion to Miss Forsythe’s “binoculars (37)” indicates that a girl is only a physical body without any self identity. In addition, another male character Biff when he had confidence he also used girls. We can understand his concept towards girls when Happy says, “Where’s the old confidence, Biff?”

In conclusion, in the play “Death of a Salesman,” Arthur Millar portrays the women characters very lightly. He shows the women as one kind of neglected creatures through the eyes of the male characters in the whole play.

An Experience Being In a Locality Of Untouchables

        Vasant Moon’s autobiography Growing Up Untouchable in India is about the lives of untouchables in the 1940s where they were not tortured and humiliated as they are in today’s world. Vasant Moon has clearly expressed his experience enabling a reader to know a life of an untouchable.  I enjoyed reading about the warmth during summer, the rain and the places he has described explicitly. He described a neighborhood which was inhabited by untouchables only. I have experienced walking in the lanes of an untouchable locality. I went there as a health facilitator in order to share some of my knowledge regarding personal hygiene and diseases.

Those lanes of untouchable’s locality which I walked through were different from as well as similar to the neighborhood explained by Moon. Moon described the trees from which he used to eat fruits and enjoy spending time with his friends under its shade. Conversely, there weren’t any trees in that locality and every inch of land was occupied by small huts made of plastics. In addition, Moon’s neighborhood was close to other neighborhoods, whereas the untouchable locality was far away from people’s settlement near the bank of the Bagmati River. Furthermore, in Moon’s neighborhood, his grandfather Sadashiv was highly respected by all the people. Likewise, there was a man, Manoj Musahar, in the locality who was treated as an important person among untouchables. He was a learned young man working as a teacher in a local school of untouchables. In order to make our health campaign successful, he played an important role. The untouchables of that locality do not let people of other castes enter the locality, and even if they did, they would be chased away. It would have been impossible to make them aware about health issues if Manoj Musahar hadn’t co-operated with us, due to the fact that his words were prioritized in the locality. On the other hand, people of any caste were allowed to enter the neighborhood of Moon. When Moon was sick all his friends including Brahmans came to visit him despite the fact that the place was occupied by untouchables. The untouchables of Moon’s neighborhood ate snakes, and the untouchables of the locality I visited ate rats. This is some information I gathered about untouchables. It is interesting to compare an untouchable neighborhood of the 1960s of India and an untouchable locality of the present time of Nepal.

Death of a Salesman

In the drama “Death of a Salesman” written by Arthur Miller, we can see the silence role of Happy. The silence role doesn’t mean that Happy was introvert; I meant to say that Happy was indifferent to his family problems. Though he used to settle the quarrel between his father and brother (Willy and Biff) temporarily, he didn’t take these quarrels as serious issue even though he was informed by his mother that Willy was trying to kill himself because of his family problems. He never tried to settle the problem between Biff and Willy permanently. He never thought that he could also help his father to get out of his depression by helping him in economic condition. He kept himself far from his family concerns.

Happy was more concerned about his affairs with girls rather than his father. In one of the events of drama, Willy and Biff were having a quarrel in a restaurant, he rather moved away with girls taking Biff with him. He even didn’t think about his father. Maybe he did so to settle the quarrel between them, but I think there was a better way to do so. He could have been with his father and sent his brother home. It would have been better if he could have thought about his father before those girls. It shows that he was indifferent to his father’s difficulties. Similarly, at the end of the drama when his father drove away with a full speed, and his mother and Biff were worried about his father, he simply said Biff to go to sleep. He didn’t care even his father could die.

 Maybe it was his father default that his father could not give equal attention to his both sons during childhood. During childhood, Willy paid more attention towards Biff as he was good in school. Willy rarely paid attention towards Happy, maybe it was a reason that Happy learnt to make himself far from his family members’ problem. However, I think he had some duty towards his family. He was given less attention in childhood as he was moderate student while Biff was a good student. If he had a desire to be cared by his father, he could have proved himself.

On “Death of the Salesman”

The play “Death of the Salesman” by Arthur Miller, is a somehow knocks one’s self consciousness. I find the play more thoughtful rather than sad or emotional. Additionally, the character I have found most interesting is the character of Willy. On the surface, he appears as a crazy man who finally ends up doing suicide; and therefore, many people might consider Willy as a coward and loser. I have also thought the same about Willy as I started the novel. However, my thought about Willy has totally changed as I read the ending of the novel.

I think the ending of the play is the best part where we are able to see the true side of Willy’s character as a gainer and achiever. First, at the end, he got to know that his son Biff truly loves him. This is a big achievement for Willy since he always used to believe that Biff didn’t love him or care about him. Thus he finally managed to get the deserving love from his entire family member which had always meant a lot for him. I think no achievement could be more satisfying for a person like Willy than to get the love and care of his nearer and dearer ones. Second, after all of his sufferings and frustrations as a salesman, he finally acknowledged and accepted the reality that he was never meant to be a salesman which also gave him satisfaction. Therefore, in his imagination he agreed to go with his brother Ben to work and to explore himself. It also reflects him as a gainer as he finally dared to venture his true self, even it’s at the end of his life.

Moreover, his committing suicide is also a sign of his braveness. By committing suicide, he has been able to give his family a secure future with the help of the insurance money. Therefore, his sacrifice of his life for his family represents his courage and bravery. This was also a big achievement for him since by doing this he freed her wife from all her wariness. Through his death, he also gave his sons a chance to move forward in their life with their own dreams to fulfill.

Thus, through his death, he was able to achieve the things which he couldn’t achieve in his lifetime.

Another History of China

I want to change the ending of the story “The Moon Lady” in The Joy Luck Club. After the girl, Ying-Ying, lost in that occasion, the fishermen dropped her beside the lake. She wasn’t able to meet her family members; therefore, she was lost in China. Her parents searched for her all around in China, but they did not find her. One of the Japanese invaders, Aung, found her in a village, and he took her Japan as a child servant for his home. After that all family members of Ying-Ying heard that she was in Japan. Her father, mother, and Amma had gone Japan to bring her back. However, when Aung saw these Chinese, he killed her father and kept these women as his concubines. All Japanese gave a lot of pain to these three women. They suffered a lot in Japan. Since there was a conflict between China and Japan, no one was helping them to come out from that country. After a few years elapsed, Amma and Ying-Ying’s mother made a plan to run away from that country with Ying-Ying. Once, while they were trying to escape from there, one member of Aung’s family saw them. After that they were locked for forever in his house. However, little Ying-Ying was not locked because she was doing all household chores. Every night, these three women were making plans about how could they escape from that prison. They were also thinking about making changes in China and removing all the Japanese from China. One night Aung’s son, Peter, heard their conversation, and at midnight he unlocked the door where they were trapped. That boy helped them to go back China. These ladies went back to China and worked as leaders and helped many people to save their lives from Japanese terrorists. They also raised their voice against the Japanese. Ying-Ying worked as an editor in her own newspaper company, Wake Up Chinese, and wrote articles to motivate people to take part in the movements. After a few years, the Japanese gave up, and China became an independent country. Ying-Ying was the prime-minister of that country. She made many positive changes such as helping poor people, establishing many schools, and eradicating unemployment. She worked very hard to develop her country. In the present age, China is developing at a fast rate and making its position in the world due to her. At the end, Ying-Ying got married to Peter (Aung’s son) to establish peace between China and Japan.

Imaging Another Future for the World

I am not going to write about the topic “Imagining Another Future for Asia” because you learnt a lot about it in the Dhaka conference. I want to write about the consequences of immortality. Scientists are inventing various methods for extending the life span of human beings. Some of them are cryogenics suspension, nanotechnology, cloning stem cells, drinking resveratrol, and caloric restriction. What will happen after 50 years? Can you imagine a situation when no one will die, and all people will look young?

Each second three people are dying, but when men become immortal, no one will die. As a result, the population will increase in a dramatic way. Almost 155,204 people die, and 384,000 are born on average per day (Ask). Therefore, think about the condition of the population when such a large number of people are born each day, and no one is going to die. Even though the government will implement a rule for birth control, the population is not going to decrease. Everywhere we will see more then 100 stories buildings to adjust these people, and many bridges between buildings.  Moreover, we will hardly ever see any tree or garden in the ground, but we will see that all vegetables and all crops will grow on our rooftops. All agricultural scientists will work very hard to produce high-yield seed varieties. By the time we will be 100 year old, we will see that one brinjal will be the size of a pumpkin. There will be also shortage of the natural resources. Furthermore, all wild animals will be extinct.

In addition to these, people will be free of all diseases and aging. There will be not any limited age of marriage for a person. If someone feels bored with his or her spouse for a long period of time, then he or she will marry someone else. The children of that spouse will say, “Today is my father is going to get marry, and my coming stepmother is 100 years older than him.”

In the present everyone prays for a long life, but in the future, they will pray for a short life because it may be very boring to live such a long life. However, it will be really beautiful and enjoyable. I want to enjoy this kind of life. I wish to be immortal, and I think it will be possible on coming years.

Hey Girls!! Let’s Think Critically…

I wonder what critical thinking is. My answer to critical thinking is questioning–questioning how, why, when, where and who. Does this questioning develop our critical thinking ability? Well, in my view it is the most basic part which can help us to initiate critical thinking. Even the most ingenious scientist, Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning.” I wish critical thinking would be as fun as the games–comparison, sequence and categorizing–that we play in Stella Cotterell’s Critical Thinking Skills book. Nevertheless, today I would like to discuss some of my critical thinking abilities which emerged when I was taking my academic seminar classes and reading The Little Prince during our Reading and Writing Class.

Ms. Ayla had given us a scientific experiment to do. At first when I saw the examples of her experiment I thought it would be easy. I thought it to be easy because I never anticipated it critically. When I questioned myself how, why and when, then the puzzled everything in my mind. I observed that the information which I would collect without applying the techniques of critical thinking would have many flaws. After deep thinking, I realized my personal biases and beliefs were hindering me from thinking critically. I understood that each and every individual has his/her own culture and everyone believes it. However, it is hard to concede that our culture may be untrue sometimes, and our critical thinking abilities can be interfered. Therefore, I became open-minded and flexible, which has helped me to do the experiment successfully. Moreover, when I read The Little Prince, I tried to find reasons for the existence of each character and his roles. The questioning techniques that I applied to myself and to the story helped me to understand the real meaning of the personas presented in the book; otherwise at the beginning it was only a children’s book for me.

Thus I can say that questioning has helped me to clear my mind a lot. Through questioning I am able to do my experiment without biases. Moreover, sometimes I feel that questioning has made me bit more intelligent now then before. Therefore, I would like to share with other girls that when you face any kind of problems while reading, then ask youself the basic questions such as how, why, where, which and when. I hope this will help you to develop your critical thinking power and you can be a deep critical thinker one day.

Response to the article about immortality

“In Pursuit of Immortality: The Science behind Life Extension” is an article by Kristie McNealy M.D that describes the efforts of scientists to cure aging and put an end to death. The article made us acquainted with the techniques like cryonics, the method of preserving human bodies after death with the hope that they would be revived back to life. While reading about the scientists’ attempts to make medicine to avoid natural death, I felt awkward. I feel convenient to add here that it is actually the end point of things that adds meaning to their existence. Likewise, it is death that grants value to life. In other words, we are concerned about the proper utilization of time and better consumption of facilities because we are all well aware that life is a precious gift which we cannot get back once we lose it. The realization that till death we have a limited span of time to achieve our goal motivates us to work at a faster pace and put the best of our talent. We all well know that life is short and proceeds towards death with every click of a clock. With the passage of every proportion of a second, we get closer to death and the time we have to fulfill our desires shrinks further. The knowledge that death is irreversible further intrigues us to work smoothly and even more efficiently so that we could be able to achieve our ambition before we die. Since we cannot refrain from death, we cannot procrastinate if we really want to lead a successful life. Thus, we rush towards our destination and try our best to accomplish tasks on time because we are aware that if we waste time then there is surely no any way to retrieve it back. We are serious about life because we know that we cannot get it back once we die and so endeavor to make best of it. A logical and critical overview of the article tells us if there was any way to revive a corpse back to life, life would have lost its significance. Death actually imparts value to life. If there was a strategy to put a stop to death, man might not have taken life seriously. They would always procrastinate and might have sat idle. Consequently, the highly advanced achievements of today would not have been possible. Moreover, the world is already overwhelmed with problems like over-population, scarcity of food and such other problems. In such a situation, why not be concerned about the health and environmental problems that lead to death at earlier stages than to strive to make life immortal?

my thought about ‘The giving Tree’

‘The Giving Tree’ is a poem which is so simple to understand as you don’t have to use your critical thinking skill! Moreover, it has no inner meaning that you would struggle to realize it! Everything is in front you, clear like a mirror where you can see your own reflection. Really, the poem helps me to think about selfishness of human being once again. Now, I want to describe the poem from two different points of view.

First, the image come to our mind that the tree is symbolizing a parent, mother or father, and the boy is his or her child. After reading the poem we realize that how true the theme is. Every human being is like the boy. A newly born child fully depends on his parents. They raise him with great love and care. They are always ready to fulfill their child’s life until their death. They never think that they won’t be reciprocated by their child. On the other hand, the child thinks that it’s his right to get all facilities he needs from his parents. Gradually he grows up and forgets about the sacrifice of his parents. He has no time to contact with parents or hears their words. But whenever he feels any lack in his life, he will come to his parents to help him. The parents will give him everything they have to live for the sake of their child. They are never sad for an ungrateful child. Instead, they are happy that their boy again comes to them. They only wish happy life of their child. We think that it’s the nature of human life. But I don’t think so. It’s the first duty of a child to look after his parents when he is adult. Only then he can be able to enjoy his life. Otherwise, he will get the same treatment from his children.

Second, if we consider the tree as nature and the boy as a human being, we see the same greedy nature of human. For their betterment humans use the nature brutally. They don’t think that nature is like mother. If they destroy the nature, they will not have another place to survive. Though they never grateful or conscious about Mother Nature, they have to come back to her. As the nature is as great as a mother to human, she will give shelter them until she has the ability. So, we should be aware of the prevention of nature. Otherwise, we cannot be able to live long in earth.

The Giving Tree

Shel Silverstein in “The Giving Tree” clearly depicts how patient and kind the tree was and how happy she felt when she saw the boy ascending in his life, and her dedication and willingness to assist the boy in order to achieve his goals in his life.  However, on the other hand, Silverstein did not fail to depict the selfishness and narrow mindedness of humans.

When the boy was young, he was so lonely.  Then he visited the tree and enjoyed well.     When he wanted something for his survival, he took the benefit of all the parts of the tree: leaves, trunk, branches and fruit.  However, he did not think of reciprocating the tree in any way. When he was with the tree, both of them were happy; both of them loved each other.  Later, as time elapsed, his way to the tree slowly started to decline and he started seeing her only when he felt lonely or when he wanted something from her.  Whatever he asked the tree, no matter when it was, she was ever ready to assist him.  She did not deny at any circumstance.

Even though she had offered the boy all what she could possibly give him, having nothing left for herself, even after her trunk was cut and taken away by the same boy, she started to profusely regret that she could no longer support the boy.  She felt so sorry for that. However, the selfish boy did not even try to console her with at least a couple of words: that’s okay or don’t worry.  Instead, he said that he won’t need very much from her anymore!  Further he asked a quiet place to him to sit and take a rest. Anyway, that was all what the tree could possibly offer him to its best at this moment.

According to this, we can see how selfish and narrow minded humans are.  The boy did not think of watering the plants of the tree or planting another plant instead of destroying this tree.  He only thought about his personal life, his word affairs and his improvement in his life.

Let’s think this vice versa!  What would have happened if the nature takes the benefit of all humans: discarding our parts of the body from us one by one and finally leaving us with only the feet, like the boy dared to do to the tree?  Definitely it will be an ordeal and we all will raise our voices against violence.  Then, is it that occurred to the tree is due to lack of its verbal ability???