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Oral Presentation

Original Idea/Thesis:
At the start of writing this term paper my original topic dealt with stress in relationship to technological advances and pressures from society. I proposed that this stress could be both physical and mental. I had planned to write about "Death of a Salesman" and "Pick Up Ax". After meeting with Dr.Jerz I realized that was not a very logical topic because it dealt more with health and assumptions than fact. I can't diagnose the characters of the plays with certain stress related disorders and that was where the problem was. I then changed my topic.

Title: Gender Roles in Literature: A Modern Day Game of HOUSE?

Current Thesis:
In the plays “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller and “Pick Up Ax” by Anthony Clarvoe gender roles of men and women are greatly influenced by culture and society.

Other Possible Thesis Statements:
1.The gender roles of men and women in literature simply ascribe to the conventions of the time period in which the text was written.
2.There are more gender roles for men to fill than women as evident in the plays "Death of a Salesman" and "Pick Up Ax."

Conclusion Paragraph:
While “Death of a Salesman” was written in the 1948 and “Pick Up Ax” not that long ago in 1992 there is still a great deal of similarity between the roles of men in both plays where as women’s roles have changed more significantly. The gender roles of the play's actors mirror those of a conventional society.

Primary Source Quote:
This quote comes from "Death of a Salesman" and shows what type of man Willy thinks he should be based on the history and success of a past salesman.

"his name was Dave Singleman. And he was eighty-four years old and he'd drummed merchandise in thrity-one states. at the age of eighty-four he still made a living. And when I saw that I realized that selling was the greatest career a man could want. 'Cause what could be more satisfying than to be able to go, at age eighty-four,into twenty or thirty different cities, pick up a phone, and be remembered by so many different people?' Do you know?"(Act II, pg60-61)

Secondary Source Quote:
This quotation refers to a chart that I came across that clearly defined the past and present gender roles of women and men. The particular quote I am using comes from a famed Harvard sociologist that developed a model of the nuclear family in 1955.

"The feminine role is an expressive one, whereas the masculine role, is instrumental. Expressive activities of the woman fulfill 'internal' functions, for example to strengthen the ties between members of the family. The man, on the other hand, performed the 'external' functions of a family, such as providing monetary support."

-Talcott Parsons (Harvard sociologist)

This quote supports the role of Willy and Linda in "Death of a Salesman." He as the worker/provider and her as the twine holding the family together.

Opposing Argument:
Still looking...

Special Activity: (be warned its weird)
Top Ten Things Shakespeare Would Say If He Were Alive Today
10. "Now that I've had 400 years to think about it, tights are kind of fruity."
9. "What's Gore talking about? I invented the internet."
8. "I got ideas for three new plays just by watching Jerry Springer."
7. "Even I think 'Saving Private Ryan' is a much better movie than 'Shakespeare In Love.'"
6. "I'm gonna go hang out at Barnes & Noble and pick up chicks in the theater section."
5. "'Cats'? Good Lord, is that still playing?"
4. "What's something good that rhymes with 'Hooters'?"
3. "I just got a 'Welcome Back Kotter' lunch box on e-bay."
2. "The guys in high school English were right -- I'm gay."
1. "Oh why is thy number one never funny?"

Shakespeare Joke Page

Comments (1)


When I first read your paper, well the first page, I thought you had a lot of great ideas. It was just narrowing down to just one topic. When hearing your presentation I could tell that you have made great progress on your topic. We turn in the final papers in on Monday and I'm sure you got a decent grade on it because I know you were working hard on it.

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