Linda Loman - Death Of a Salesman

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Linda Loman Perhaps it isn’t the blustery, senile salesman Willy Loman who experiences tragedy. Instead, maybe the real tragedy befalls his wife, Linda Loman. Linda Loman’s life, is dreary because she always hopes that things will work out for the better – yet those hopes never blossom. They always wither. 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. Linda believes that if her sons become successful then Willy’s fragile psyche will heal itself. She expects her sons to manifest the corporate dreams of their father – not because she believes in Willy’s version of the American Dream, but because she believes her sons (Biff in particular) are the only hope for Willy’s sanity. When Biff complains about his father’s erratic behavior, Linda proves her devotion to her husband by telling her son: LINDA: Biff, dear, if you don’t have any feeling for him, then you don’t have any feeling for me. and… LINDA: He’s the dearest man in the world to me, and I won’t have anyone making him feel blue. But why is he the dearest man in the world to her? Willy’s job has steered him away from his family for weeks at a time. In addition, Willy’s loneliness leads to at least one infidelity. It’s unclear whether or not Linda suspects Willy’s affair. But it is clear, from the audience’s perspective, that Willy Loman is deeply flawed. Yet Linda romanticizes Willy’s agony of an unfulfilled life: LINDA: He’s only a lonely little boat looking for a harbor. 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

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