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Literary Criticism Analysis

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Literary Criticism Analysis: Hedda Gabler and Death of a Salesmen Part I: Summary In a criticism on Hedda Gabler, John Fiery explores the significance of secondary women in Hedda Gabler, focusing on their roles as foils and as women who, similar to Hedda, do not meet their role as a stereo typical woman. Fiero uses the examples of Juliana, Berta, and Thea to emphasize on the selfish and controlling nature of Hedda's character. He also elaborates on George Tessman to highlight some of the more masculine characteristics Hedda possesses by contrasting his interests against his wifes interests. Juliana's character, whom has acted as both mother and father towards Tessman, exudes selflessness. Her profession as a nurse, and the affectionate manner in which she cares for her sickly sister exemplifies this. However, when Rena dies, Hedda believes that Juliana is going to be a nuisance, and also worries that she will take away from her control of Tessman, even though Juliana confides in her that she is going to find another sickly person to care for because "it's such an absolute necessity for me to have one to live for," (Ibsen 11). As Fiero points out, where as Juliana lives for others, Hedda Gabler only lives for herself. Berta identifies similarly with Juliana, and is also disliked by Hedda for her selflessness and control over George. ...read more.


After this incident, Biff lost all desire to succeed in life, as his future reflected. However, Biff keeps this incident a secret from everyone else, exemplifying another flaw surrounding the Loman family: the inability to accept the truth. This inability, especially that of Willy's, results in his glorifying the truth, and therefore living a delusional life. An example given by Domina includes a conversation between Willy and Biff, in which Biff makes an attempt at trying to acknowledge the truth about a past job. Though he was simply a shipping clerk, Willy keeps saying that he was in fact, a salesmen, or "practically" one. This is only one of the few examples Domina uses to exemplify the theme of failure and falsehood, and the way it affected the Loman household (or symbolically, the failure of the American Dream). She elaborates on the flaws of Willy, which he passes on to his sons, and the ways in which those flaws lead to his death. Part II: Domina's interpretation of the affects of failure and falsehood in the play are reasonable and well supported. She takes the reader through the play, and through a series of events and consequences that begin with either the theme of failure or the delusional state of the family. This allows the reader to follow the affects of the themes, and provides them with a thorough understanding of certain aspects of the play. ...read more.


He prevented them from fulfilling their dreams as well, especially in Biff. Willy's inability to differ his reality from his delusions also contributed to this. Part II: The argument in this criticism, especially that of the affect of Willy's commitment to false social values are exemplified throughly in the play. The example given of Willy's irresponsible nature, and the way in which in reflect upon his sons supports the argument strongly. Also, the structure of the criticism, which uses sub sections, makes the critique easier to understand. It helps the reader organize its thoughts, and focus on each main point. There are no contradicting opinions used in this criticism. Part III: The arguments in this criticism are reasonable and well-supported. The idea that Willy's commitment to his false social values prevent him from having a true human experience are exemplified throughout the play. Willy's, and consequently his son's, commitment to social values most impact them in the sense that they are not able to understand and have a meaningful relationship. Willy's biggest blunder came in Boston, where Biff caught him having an affair, a sure indicator that all was not well in regards to his relationship with his wife. This affected Biff to the point that it killed his bright future. However, Biff tells no one, and keeps it to himself. His inability to talk to his father about it or tell his secret reflect broken relationships. Lastly, Happy is constantly in company of prostitutes, and is seemingly incapable of having a true relationship and settling down. ...read more.

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