Linda is Willy's doting wife. She refuses to see through her husband's lies. This is a woman on a mission: protect Willy's emotions and dreams. Part of her nature is the result of naïveté; Linda doesn't know the full picture here, from Willy's finances to his job to his mistress. This cluelessness is partly why Linda defends her husband's behavior even when he has lashed out at her. No one can argue—she's one loyal chick.
Like her husband, Linda equates happiness and freedom with material wealth. She accepts the American ideal that success is possible for anyone. Nevertheless, Linda shows substantially more preoccupation than her husband with talent, dedication, and basic ethics that reach beyond simply being well-liked. Unlike Willy, she expresses concern over Biff's poor math performance, his growing aggression, and his tendency to steal everything that will fit in his pocket and even some things that don't.
Linda's utter and blind devotion to her husband makes it hard for her to understand why he killed himself—and why no one showed up to his funeral. Her ironic statement "we're free" just reminds us that Linda is still very, very clueless.Linda's Timeline
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The dramatic importance of Linda links in with her life it is dreary because she always hopes that things will work out for the better yet those hopes never come true. They always fail. Her one major decision takes place before the action of the play. She chooses to marry and emotionally support Willy Loman, a man who wanted to be great but defined greatness as being “well liked” by others. Because of Linda’s choice, the rest of her life will be filled with disappointment. In the Loman family, each character is given a pivotal role in how they ultimately affect the death of Willy.
While each figure is an enabler to some degree, Linda has knowledge from virtually all sides of the situation but still chooses to play the submissive wife to Willy. Although we must take into consideration the financial burdens that Linda would be taking on if she were to leave an otherwise emotionally hurtful relationship with Willy, her tactics in finding peace for the family are almost cowardly in that she hides behind the truths that she wishes not to hear. By looking at Linda’s position in the family, we can see that she has enabled Willy to become a tragic figure and this in turn results in his death.
Her characteristics can be discovered by paying attention to the stage directions. When she speaks to her sons Happy and Biff, she can be very stern, confident and resolute. However when Linda converses with her husband it’s almost as if she is walking on eggshells and almost that she is talking to a frail eggshell that is her husband’s mental state. Miller uses the following descriptions to reveal how the actress should deliver Linda’s lines: “very carefully, delicately”, “with some trepidation”, “resigned”, “sensing the racing of his mind, fearfully” and “trembling with sorrow and joy”.
A way that Linda is represented through her actions towards Willy’s thoughts of suicide. Linda realizes that Willy has been contemplating suicide. She knows that his mind is on the verge of being lost. She also knows that Willy has been hiding a rubber hose, just the right length for suicide. Linda never confronts Willy about his suicidal tendencies or his delusional conversations with ghosts of the past. Instead she plays the role of the housewife of the 40s and 50s. She show patience, loyalty, and a submissive nature.
And for all of these attributes, Linda is left a widow at the end of the play. Because of who she is she doesn’t have the will to stop her husband’s suicide. At Willy’s graveside, she explains that she cannot cry. The long, slow tragic events in her life have drained her of tears. Her husband is dead, her two sons still hold grudges, and the last payment on their house has been made. But there’s no one in that house except a lonely old woman named Linda Loman. This dramatic realization of hers solidifies the consequences of the American dream and that not everyone can reach it.
Author: Brandon Johnson
Linda Loman Death of a Salesman
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