Linda Loman in the novel, Death of a Salesman, is strong woman who sacrificed her job for the happiness and success of her husband and family. The paper will explain how Linda played an important role in the lives of her husband and sons. The character of Linda Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman is a source of strength for many people. A heart and soul of the Loman household, Linda is a woman torn between guiltiness, vengeance and misfortune. Although the novel gives a very bleak view of women, the Linda’s character shows how a woman can give strength to a man.
Linda’s guiltiness can be seen from the fact that she prevented her husband, Willy Loman, from chasing his true American dream. Linda reacted in response to Willy’s failure and becomes apologetic for him, for the reason that Willy is a “pitiful lone adventurer of the road” (Miller 47) Throughout the novel Linda is seen as source of encouragement for Willy and never accepted defeat before him. When Linda first appeared in the novel, she is portrayed as a woman who always obeys orders of her husband. Linda accepted Willy’s actions and his unexpected behaviors.
In the beginning of the novel, even when Linda did not enter into the play, Authur Miller gave an impression that she is a victim. (Miller 12) It seems that Linda is either terrified by the Willy’s attitude or worried about his weaknesses. For many people Linda’s interference in the financial matters of Willy shows her greed. But many others see it differently. They argue that Linda was very conscious about the success of Willy and the financial health of their family. Linda played an important role in easing tension in the family, especially between Willy and his sons.
And this shows her kindness. As Willy finds himself in confusion because of his clashes with his sons on many issues despite the fact that he loves them very much, Linda gives him solutions. She tells Willy that their son Biff is sad and disappointed. She said Biff is trying to find himself. “He’s crestfallen… if he finds himself, then you’ll both be happier” (Miller 15). Linda who surrenders her own joy for the happiness of her husband has loyalty for him. She blames herself for every unkind things Willy do to her.
She has become so familiar to the mental abuse freely dished out by her husband that she has come to consider it acceptable behavior and rationalize it by telling herself that she is not worthy of good treatment. Willy has no respect for Linda. He snaps at Linda when she makes harmless comments. He insulted her on many occasion. “Stop interrupting! ” (64), “Will you let me talk? ” (64), and “Will you let me finish, woman? ” (Miller 67). But what shows the strength of Linda is that she comes to defend Willy when their sons try to offend him. She is still nice with her husband and tells the boys to make Willy happy.
For many critics it is evident that Linda has become so desensitized by Willy’s comments over the years that they have become almost common nature to her. But some critics see it differently and termed it Linda’s strength. They argue that Linda is ready to tolerate all these things for the sake of her family’s unification and for success of her husband. Despite the fact that the sons do not like their father, Linda on many occasions in the novel is seemed trying to assure Willy of his importance. “And the boys, Willy. Few men are idolized by their children the way you are. ” (Miller 37).
For improving the confidence of Willy, Linda gives him the impression that their sons have great respect for their father. In this way she compels herself to live a life that she knows is not factual. Many people believe that this is the strength of Linda’s character because she tells lie to comfort a broken heart. Even after the death of Willy, Linda’s respect for her husband does not come to an end. Although by killing himself Willy left Linda without a source of income, Linda blames herself for Willy’s death and while standing on his grave she says “forgive me, dear” (Miller 139).
During all the years of their marriage, Linda remains a victim of Willy’s bad behavior. But her only aim was to serve Willy. She did everything to make him happy in his life although she knew that she would get only bad behavior in return. In conclusion, it can be said that Linda was a strong woman because she tolerated all bad things for the success of her family. Linda never lived just only a single day of her married life for herself. Her entire focus always remained on the happiness and success of her husband.
Willy was undeserving of all the support his wife showed him. But, Linda remained loyal and was quick to forget all the disappointing things done by Willy. While selflessness and forgiveness are good things, Linda become too extreme by destroying her own life, just to keep her unworthy husband happy. Works Cited Miller, Arthur. The Death of a Salesman Cardullo, Bert. Death of a Salesman and Death of a Salesman: The Swollen Legacy of Arthur Miller. Available at: http://www. columbia. edu/cu/cjas/june_miller. html