Linda Loman in “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller
How it works
The character Linda Loman, who plays the role of Willy Loman’s wife, in Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman is a very important part in the play. Her character shows the typical American wife of that era. This is directly indicated by her behavior, the way she hides her feelings, and the way she treats her sons. There are many examples throughout the play that reveals that Linda is the classic enabler who indirectly causes the dysfunction in the Loman household.
Linda enables her husband Willy to live in his fantasy world because she knows that the truth would bring nothing but hurt to him and their family, so she decides to hide the truth. Willy has problems with his memory, but Linda is always making excuses for Willy’s mistakes. Linda behaves as the “perfect” wife would in that time. However, this lifestyle of hers ultimately leads to the downfall of her husband.
Linda is a very supportive woman. She never questions her husband and is always beside him, she never fails to agree with him. You can refer to her actions as being loyal but She could have tried and helped Willy get better, but instead, she just brushed everything off and made it look like Willy’s behavior was normal and always makes excuses for Willy. For example, Willy says, “I could not drive anymore, the car kept going off onto the shoulder already know? ” Linda replied, “Maybe it’s your glasses” (Miller 22). By making these kinds of excuses, it’s almost like Linda is ignoring willy’s problems.
Also, Willy says, “I could not drive anymore, Linda replied, “Oh, maybe it was the steering again “(Miller 27) Willy is not make excuses for himself, it’s Linda who acts like nothing is wrong. In the play, Willy says, “It took me nearly four hours from Yonkers.” Linda replied, “Well, you’ll have to take a rest” (Miller 27). All these excuses, it shows that Linda does not want to admit that willy has problems mentally which classifies her as an enabler. Although Linda was just being a loving wife and trying to support her delusional husband. she hurt him in the process by not getting him the help he needs or helping him in any other way that she could. Linda is the classic enabler who indirectly causes the dysfunction in the Loman household.