In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Linda Loman can be seen as a positive influence on her family through preserving her husband, Willy, and his American dream for their family. What is the American Dream? The American Dream is seen through the eyes of Willy and his children, Happy and Biff, and it’s image portrays success in the family as well as living a prosperous lifestyle. Linda Loman is seen throughout the play as an ordinary housewife who is dedicated her husband’s well being. Her moral values are represented through her loyalty and devotion towards her family.
Throughout the storyline it becomes evident that she protects her husband and cares for his mental state of mind. Although she is reluctant to tell Willy about her opinions, she remains supportive of his dreams although they are not attainable. An example can be seen in act one when she defends Willy as he goes on to explain how he was getting old and his eyesight was getting worse as he traveling to sell products. Willy explains to Linda, “I suddenly couldn’t drive any more. The car kept going off onto the shoulder, y’know?” (Miller 13).
Linda is seen quickly reassuring Willy that the steering wheel was the cause of his troubles on the road and his current eyeglass prescription was not up to date. “Oh. maybe it was the steering again…maybe it’s your glasses. You never went for your new glasses.” (Miller 13). This is evidence that she endures Willy’s irritabilities, which shows her patience and calmness in tense situations. Additional actions can be seen throughout the play by her unnoticed actions of caring for Willy.
An example can be shown through her removing his jacket after a long day of traveling for work, which emphasizes her to withstand her husband’s temper and this evidently shows how she wants Willy to relax and not worry about overworking for the sake of keeping the family together. Her beliefs are strongly regarded around her two children watching out for their father. It is seen over the course of the play that she constantly reminds Happy and Biff that pleasing and creating a sense of pride for the family is important. She explains to Biff about her feelings, “Biff, dear, if you don’t have any feeling for him, then you can’t have any feeling for me”. (Miller 55). Linda goes on to exclaim that she won’t permit anyone to make her husband feel unwanted and down.
Linda’s deep emotions allows us to see her intense connection as well as commitment to her husband. She demands high respect from her children towards their father, although she may not agree with Willy the majority of the time. She gives justification saying that Willy is the children’s father, and that they have the option of respecting him or not being allowed to stay at their house. A major factor seen throughout the play is Linda accentuating her reasoning behind remaining unwavering with her husband. “But he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him.
So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention…..” (Miller 56). Lindas plead towards Happy and Biff exhibits her knowledge and attentiveness in regards to Willy’s mental health. Additionally it shows her understanding of her husband’s declining mental stability. This shows the reader her counteraction as well as foreshadows the outcome of Willy’s decision at the end of the play. Her continuous discipline towards her children highlights her remaining by her husbands side to ensure his happiness, although he may not reciprocate all of her feelings.
Through enduring Willy’s action as well as the rippling effect he caused in the household, she remains deeply devoted to her husband; even though he committed adultery and in the end, committed suicide as he believed that it would be the solution for his families worries. The resemblance and comparability between the two figures throughout the length of time equates towards their dream of living a flourishing life. Linda pursues and prompts Willy to work harder to attain their vision of the American dream, although they both realized that their aspirations are never achievable because of Willy’s ignorant pride.
Nevertheless, she exemplifies a beneficial factor towards her family, as she’s the only one that is able to recognize Willy’s self destruction as well as her children’s desire to fulfill their father’s yearning of a blooming family. Furthermore, Linda shows her curiosity of her husband’s whereabouts through giving his jacket as well as following him when he returns from work. The play indicates her minor but significant interactions with her husband along the story as she reminds him of the obvious and reminds him to take care of himself as well as be cautious of his surroundings. “Well it’s old dear…..Be careful!” (Miller 73 and 75). This designates her affection towards her husband, which can be interpreted as an expression of tenderness, as she wants to her husband to work so he can provide for the family.
More, this enables her to remind her children that their father’s life is in their hands, as his mental condition worsens. It can be seen near the end of the play as she stands over Willy’s resting place and discloses that their family was able to pay off the house completely, showing that they own their property. “I made the last payment on the house today. Today, dear. And there’ll be nobody home. We’re free and clear. We’re free…..”(Miller 139). Under those circumstances, the final revelation conveys a message of relief for her family, as they are able to live a life with no financial worries. She is unable to cry, since she questions her husband’s motives for ending his life and the ending of the play creates a sense of reassurance, since her family’s perception of the American dream is now a reality.
As can be seen in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Linda Loman brought together her family through their disappointments of living without attaining their dream of a “perfect life”. Her attempts to counteract Willy’s diminishing mental well-being as well as her patience with Happy and Biff’s future aspirations; while still remaining optimistic in hopes of being a more affluent family shows her deep intentions of inevitably contributing towards her family.