Comparison - Linda Loman from Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" and Elizabeth Proctor from Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"

Essay by mscottvb12High School, 10th gradeA+, November 2003

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Both Elizabeth Proctor and Linda Loman share a devotion to their husbands that leaves them unfulfilled. Each of them surrenders their own happiness for the well-being of their husbands. Likewise, the two women blame themselves for all the hurtful things their husbands do to them. Elizabeth and Linda have become so accustomed to the mental abuse freely dished out by their husbands that they have come to consider it acceptable behavior and rationalize it by telling themselves they aren't worthy of good treatment. This fidelity rids each woman of her will.

Linda and Elizabeth's husbands have no respect for either of them. When Bill and Happy are explaining their latest money-making idea to Willy, he snaps at Linda when she makes harmless comments. He says to her, "Stop interrupting!" (64), "Will you let me talk?" (64), and "Will you let me finish, woman?" (67). A few minutes later, when the boys offend Willy, Linda is still pleasant with him and pleads with the boys to make him happy.

From this it is apparent that Linda has become so desensitized by Willy's comments over the years that they have become almost common nature to her. While Willy has no respect for Linda's thoughts and ideas, Proctor feels the same way about Elizabeth's actions. As soon as Proctor comes home from Reverend Parris' house, he begins criticizing Elizabeth's homemaking. He takes it upon himself to re-season Elizabeth's rabbit, tells her she should put flowers in the house, and scolds Elizabeth for not having cider set out on the table. To this Elizabeth responds by saying, "[With a sense of reprimanding herself for having forgot.] Aye! [She gets up and pours a glass for him.]" (937). It is evident from this quotation, the pressure John puts upon Elizabeth to be perfect. With that...