The Selfish Linda Loman In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

1154 words - 5 pages

The Selfish Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

    Linda, a character from Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" is a selfish housewife. She pretends to care about her husband, but in reality, prefers that he kill himself so that she can live an easier life.

Linda is given nothing but motive for wanting her husband, Willy, to die because of the ways he mistreats her. For example, during a family conversation in Act I, Linda, trying to put in a few words, says, "Maybe things are beginning to change-," with Willy coming in right after her, "(wildly enthused, to Linda)Stop interrupting!..."(1187) Linda, trying desperately to be a part of the conversation, is ...view middle of the document...

Too scared to reveal the truth, Linda holds her motives in and allows Willy to trip until he falls.

Along with her motives, Linda attempts to keep any voice of reason away from Willy, showing that her selfish desire of her well-being is more important than his. In a discussion with her boys in Act I, Linda says, "I'm- I'm ashamed to. How can I mention it to him? Every day I go down and take away that little rubber pipe. But, when he comes home, I put it back where it was. How can I insult him like that?"(1184) Linda claims that acknowledging the truth about Willy's possible attempt to kill himself is an insult. But, in order to develop a solution to any preoblem, one must start with the truth. Linda merely wants to accommodate Willy's mental problems rather than get rid of them, causing him to stay in his troubled state of mind. In another conversation in Act II, Linda tries to push Biff away from speaking with his father:

"Linda: You're not going near him. Get out of this house!

Biff: (with absolute assurance, determination) No. We're going to have an abrupt conversation, him and me.

Linda: You're not talking to him."(1221)

Linda does not want Biff talking to Willy in fear that her indisposed attemp to keep Willy in his troubled state of mind will be unraveled. But in reality, Willy needs to hear the truth rather than the promotion of a dead-end dream. Linda, overall, tries to support Willy's alternative mental state and she helps lead him to destruction. In agreement that Linda is not positive help for Willy, June Schlueter states, "When Willy keeps driving the car off the road, though she knows of his death wish, she tries to excuse the action by suggesting he needs an eye examination or a good rest." Linda cares more that Willy continues to hide the truth because she knows that eventually he will kill himself. Her supposed love for Willy is just a cover-up of her destruction of him and her desire for a peaceful life.

After Willy's death, Linda uncovers her emotionless heart and displays little care of Willy's death, proving that she preferred he died. During the funeral in Act II, Linda claims, "He was so wonderful with his hands."(1229) In some of her final words about Willy, Linda reveals...

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