In Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman”, Linda plays the key female role. It seems the family revolves around her, and she seems to be the most forward thinking character in the play, but does Miller make us feel sympathy towards her?
There are many reasons as to why we could feel sympathy for Linda. Firstly, Linda is living with all the families dreams. Trapped by Willy’s failed career the family has nothing, and Linda has to bear that. Her two children, who are both great looking and confident, have made nothing of themselves at ages 34 and 32. All she wants is a realistic goal, but she gets dragged into the dreams her family mistakenly create. Willy himself says in the restaurant scene “the woman has waited and the woman has suffered.” Willy is showing he realises what he is putting Linda through, but unfortunately he has no fix.
Secondly, Linda has had to suffer through Willy’s Suicidal thoughts, plagued everyday with trying to remove the rubber pipe, but putting it back everyday for fear of hurting Willy. Linda is forced to bear the thought of Willy killing himself daily, that can’t be easy for a woman who suffers in so many other ways.
Thirdly, Willy cannot provide for Linda, not allowing her to work, for fear of looking unsuccessful. Willy is only paid commission, and throughout his working life he has never made much money. This means the family cannot afford many luxuries, with a cheap car, and cheap appliances such as their refrigerator. Linda is seen mending stockings by Willy, a key symbol in the play, not only can Willy not provide enough money for Linda to afford expensive stockings, but Willy could provide stockings to ‘the Woman’, with Stockings a symbol for sexuality and femininity, it could be said that Willy provided sexually for his Mistress, but not for Linda.
Thirdly, Willy has never treated Linda right. As Biff...