Death Of A Salesman

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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DEFENDING WILLY'S RIGHTS What exactly is character? Character is defined as one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual. With that being said, everyone is different. Everybody in the world has "character" to make them unique. Arthur Miller questions the character of Willy Loman, a 60-year-old salesman, in The Death of a Salesman. Willy's wife, Linda, stands up for Willy in a heartfelt monologue on page 57 in the novel. She backs up Willy's actions for acting strange and is 100% right.

There are two main points she makes in her monologue. First Linda says, "And what goes through a man's mind, driving seven hundred miles home without earning a cent? Why shouldn't he talk to himself?" Being on the road can be a very stressful thing. Not earning any money while doing so can make it much worse. Not only is it hard enough being alone, having no one to talk about feelings is also bad.

Constant bottled up feelings is a major cause of talking to himself.

Second, she says, "When he has to go to Charley and borrow fifty dollars a week and pretend to me it's his pay?" A man who cares enough to at least try to bring in some money into the house is a man of character. Even though he is borrowing it from Charley, Willy is keeping his word by keeping track of his dues. Everything Willy does in life is for the goodness of his children, and a man who cares enough to do anything he can for money to support the family is a man of character. Linda is right on in defending the character of her husband.