A letter explaining Relationships in the Loman family in "Death of a Salesman"

Essay by harsiratHigh School, 12th gradeA, January 2006

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I hope that this letter of mine would find you in best of health and spirits. I am really sorry that I couldn't come home this time. Instead I went to visit Aunt Linda's house and I just got back from there. During my stay at her house I experienced some very interesting things about their family as it was my first time visiting them. When I reached their house Uncle Willy was not at home. I think he was away for some work business. Aunt Linda, Biff and Happy seemed to be really nice people. They are quite hostile. They seemed to be enjoying all the time, cheerful and happy. Smiles were always on their faces, but Happy was ignored by almost everyone and it seemed like he didn't even want anyone's company. I tried to initiate a conversation with him quite a few time but he just walked away.

Aunt Linda took good care of me and even though the family was going though financial crisis she never made me feel that. She cooked really nice dinner for me and we even had a turkey for dinner. But this didn't go on for too long. One day we were at the table and Uncle Willy finally arrived home. I was so excited to see him but the family didn't seem to be really happy after seeing him. Biff walked away from the dinner table as soon as his dad joined us and Aunt Linda started acting to be more formal with everyone. She was the only one who actually greeted Uncle Willy properly. There was a change in everyone's behavior. Uncle Willy always craved for attention like a kid and I don't know what used to happen to him at once. He lived in a world of his own. He was lost his in own memories and doesn't want to listen to anyone most of the time. He would just start talking about past as if it is happening to him right now. He has very strong feelings for Biff. He either hates him to the extreme or believes that Biff is the only one who can fulfill his dreams. Uncle Willy is refusing to believe the truth about Biff and always mocks him about his laziness even when Biff tried to tell him that he just wanted to work in the farms. But Uncle Willy believes that success comes from being well liked, and he instilled his belief in his sons, who are his brightest hopes in life. Although Uncle Willy encourages their success, he neglects to instill any sense of integrity or morality in the boys. While Uncle Willy wants Biff to stay in the city and work, Biff wants to go to the west and working the farms.

They often had fights between them for this reason. But Aunt Linda always supports him and she is the only one who actually loves him despite his many failures and weakness. She takes care of him like a mother. She protects him when Biff fights with him, and defends him against her sons who think that their dad is going crazy. But she respects him enough. She always asks him to take some time off and relax his mind. Biff and Uncle Willy's relationship is deteriorating day by day. I think that Uncle Willy is lonely. Mom, don't you think that Biff and Happy should stay home and take care of their father rather than just leaving the house whenever they want and come back whenever they feel like? You know I overheard Happy and Biff talking to each other. Biff was offering Happy to come to the west with him but Happy effused his offer. He said that he wanted to outdo the people around him, wear expensive clothes and show his superiority to them. I have a feeling that Happy has inherited Uncle Willy's sense of inferiority and is being driven to compensate for it. This kind of thinking is going to lead him to the state where his father is now. I think Aunt Linda should take Uncle Willy to some psychologist for a treatment because I don't think this is normal. I even talked to Aunt Linda about it but she was pretending as if nothing was wrong. In this house everyone keeps quiet when they know they might hurts someone's feeling. This is good but only to some extent because if they keep ignoring this and keep everything inside them then they can't solve their problems and this is what's happening here. Mom, you have known them and have visited them several times so has it been always like that or no? Did u ever notice any of these things before? Maybe you would like to talk to her and make her understand that she shouldn't be ignoring all this.