Arthur Miller's Creation of Linda Loman in "Death of a Salesman"

Essay by aznwondalandHigh School, 11th gradeA+, June 2002

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Never willing to accept defeat before her husband does, Linda Loman deals with her family on a daily basis. She has a husband, Willy who is a salesman searching to achieve the American dream both for himself and his sons, whom he quarrels with as much as he loves them. But Willy is getting old, and fear of his yet to be accomplished goals seem to speak to Linda. Some critics claim that Linda is "above self-pity" and that "her confidence in him is unshaken". Others complain that she "offers more encouragement than understanding". The reason for all the opposing ideas is because Arthur Miller effectively leads the readers to contradict our first impression of Linda. In the play "Death of a Salesman", the author Arthur Miller transforms Linda Loman from a frightened but encouraging victim to a manipulative villain who is hindering Willy's American dream.

When Linda first comes out in the play, she is described as a wife who is used to accepting her husband's behavior and his dreams and sudden mood swings.

In one paragraph on pg. 12, even before she enters the play, the reader has the impression that maybe she is already a victim. As she talks to the disappointed Willy about his day, Miller indicates with stage directions that Linda is careful with her actions and words, but in a supportive way. It seems that she might be frightened by him or at the fact that Willy is fragile. We see this on pg. 13 in stage directions such as "very carefully, delicately", "helpfully", and even Linda helps Willy take off his shoes. Linda also describes her son Biff, as crestfallen and explains to Willy that their son is trying to find himself (pg. 15, "He's crestfallen...if he finds himself, then you'll both...