Explore Linda Loman’s Treatment of Willy Loman Throughout Pages 8-10 of Death of a Salesman and Discuss to What Extent This Aids Willy’s Deterioration Throughout the Rest of the Play.
1165 WordsApr 3, 20155 Pages
During pages 8-10 Arthur Miller uses Linda and Willy’s interactions to display Linda’s misguided attempts at restoring Willy to mental stability. Throughout the rest of the play Miller’s permissive characterisation of Linda catalyses the deterioration of Willy’s psyche and relationships. Miller presents Linda as Willy’s enabler; she is seen as not only allowing but socialising Willy into a self-destructive way of being.
Miller incorporates the symbolism of the flute into the stage directions to symbolise Willy’s hamartia, a tragic flaw that leads to a character’s downfall. Although Willy Loman does not fit the criteria of the tragic hero, Arthur Miller wanted to show the fate of one of the many ordinary people who are rejected by a…show more content…
Miller brings light to Linda’s refusal to acknowledge Willy’s failings when Willy asserts, “No, no, it’s me, it’s me” Linda’s immediate response is, “Maybe it was your glasses”. Linda is shown as providing Willy with a chance to revoke his moments of self doubt. This dialogue is also an example of Miller’s use of the repetition of modal words to present to the audience the collusive attitude adopted by Linda when interacting with Willy: “Maybe it was the steering again” and “Maybe it was your glasses”. The playwright is presenting an overtly dishonest relationship; Linda is excusing Willy’s inadequacies with obvious untruths. By apportioning the blame not to Willy but to his glasses and the faulty steering Linda is maintaining the illusion of Willy’s infallibility. Later in the play, the audience sees Willy transfer this tendency to deny fault, instilled by Linda, into his business meeting. Miller shows this when Howard asks, “You didn't crack up again did you?” with Willy replying “No no of course not”. The audience sees Howard’s loss of respect for Willy when Howard declares, “Barely interested” “I’ve got to see some people, kid.” The use of the word “kid” shows the audience Willy has lost any appreciation Howard had for him; he has been reduced to the status of a child.
Miller’s integration of superlatives into Linda’s dialogue with Willy, “You’re so accommodating” shows the audience that Linda feels the need to constantly reassure Willy. We see