Betrayal in Death of a Slaesman and Stone Angel Essay

Betrayal in Death of a Slaesman and Stone Angel Essay

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The feeling of having been betrayed by a trusted or important figure in your life can result in emotional damage, which can eventually lead to personal destruction. “Stone Angel” by Margaret Lawrence and “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, are two works of literature that put that very statement into context. Although, the theme of betrayal is evident in both pieces, the protagonists of the different plots – Hagar Shipley and Willy Loman – experience betrayal in two very different fashions. Hagar Shipley is destroyed by her loss of independence and Willy Loman is forced into taking drastic and unnecessary actions. Acts of betrayal are scattered throughout the lives of the two protagonists. Betrayal put them off the path of life on which they originally began, and drops them on a path of destruction, which in time leads to their premature end.
Independence is something most humans strive for, although some are not lucky enough for it to be an option for them. When a person loses their independence they lose the faith in themselves that they are even capable of being independent. Once the right is taken away, a person will become dependent on others, and unable to function as they used to. Most people would sit back and let their right be taken, but not Hagar Shipley. Hagar loses her independence as most do, because of her age. Doris confronts Hagar about an accident she had when she wet the sheets, and Hagar begins to feel the vice slowly closing down on her already tiny slice of independence. Feeling threatened, Hagar snaps, “That’s a lie. I never did any such thing. You’re making it up. I know your ways. Just so you’ll have some reason for putting me away.” (Lawrence 74) As if Hagar wasn’t having a difficult enough time wat...

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...heme of betrayal, although it does affect each plot, and it’s characters differently. Each protagonist deals with their situation differently, but in the end, death was the only escape from their problems. In “Stone Angel” Margaret Lawrence writes of a character, Hagar Shipley, who is stripped of her right to self-govern her life. She is forced into a home, and dies, still fighting the same battle for her independence. A similar story in that of “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, protagonist Willy Loman’s constant disloyalty towards his family destroys his relationships and in the end, leads him to suicide. Despite the major differences between the two pieces of literature, the similarities are what matter. Betrayal can do awful things to people. It can drive decision-making without critical thinking. It can ruin lives, just ask Willy Loman, or Hagar Shipley.

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