Death of a Salesman


Act 1: Scene 6 to 12

Act I: Scene 6

This scene continues from scene 5. Willy talks openly and honestly with Linda about his fears. He is desperate. He does not feel that he is a successful salesman and worries that he might not ever sell anything again. He expresses these fears to Linda, who always reassures Willy. However, it is not Linda who responds to Willy, but The Woman. The Woman does not allay Willy’s fears as Linda would have. Instead, she largely ignores his fears. She tells him that she was drawn to him because of his sense of humor, which has nothing to do with his concerns about his ability to support his family. She also thanks him for the stockings that he brought to her.

This flashback scene lets the audience know that Willy had an affair. However, it also helps introduce some of Willy’s conflicted feelings about the affair. He obviously sought out The Woman’s company for a reason, and she apparently made him feel better about himself. However, it is clear that Linda was not failing to respond to him during that time period and that the affair was not about dissatisfaction in his marriage, but dissatisfaction with himself. The audience gets the feeling that Willy feels guilty about the affair, even though the scene does not directly address feelings of guilt. Instead, those feelings arise in a different way; he still feels guilt about having given stockings to The Woman, because they were meant for his wife.

Act I: Scene 7

Scene 7 picks up where scene 5 left off and is a continuation of the conversation between Willy and Linda. Linda does not realize that Willy has been thinking about his mistress. She is telling him how attractive he is, and Willy responds with what seems to be an out-of-place apology. Then he sees that Linda is mending her stockings, and he becomes agitated. This agitation seems unreasonable because it appears to be out of place. Willy even tells Linda to throw out the stockings, that she can buy new stockings.

Then Bernard comes into the room. He is looking for...

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