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Consider The Relationship Established Between Willy And Linda In The Opening Of The Play. What Do We Learn Here About Their Marriage? What Clues To Future Events Are Subtly Being Introduced Here?

1016 words - 4 pages

Consider the relationship established between Willy and Linda in the opening of the play. What do we learn here about their marriage? What clues to future events are subtly being introduced here?Miller establishes the relationship between Willy and Linda as quite one-sided, because of Linda's supportive nature; this unintentionally leads to his tragic downfall.She acts as a mother and in a very sweet manner with him because she recognizes his problems and feels she is the one in charge of making him feel better. This could add to his downfall because it presents her as more of a mother figure than a wife. Mothering Willy means that she pushes him towards his goals, for example "… you're doing wonderful, dear. You are making seventy to a hundred dollars a week." and "next week you'll do better". This shows Linda avoiding the issue of his mental health. With the line "The car kept going off on to the shoulder, y'know?" and Linda's reply "Maybe it was the steering again" shows that Willy is acknowledging his failure as a salesman and the use of 'y'know' implies Willy is hinting about his contemplation of suicide. By saying "steering", especially in a car, it's something that Willy himself is doing, meaning that Linda feels he is not able to be in control of his own life, 'steering' being a metaphor to show Linda being the control. Linda tries to make more excuses with "Maybe it's your glasses" which are purposely there to allow clear sight, could be another metaphor to show Linda's want to control him. By taking away his sight, he would be completely reliant on her.Miller, again, uses language to present the relationship between Willy and Linda by posing most of Linda's lines as questions, for example when he comes through the door and says that he's back, she says "Why? What happened? Did something happen, Willy?" This shows Linda's over worrying and giving her an almost interrogating air to her personality, and in terms of hierarchy, it shows how Linda is the alpha, needing to know where he is and what he has been doing.When Willy says "Didn't you hear me?" Linda ignores him and asks another question, again showing that she's trying to ignore the fact that Willy has these mental issues, and instead of facing facts and helping him properly instead of lying to him. After this, he says "These goddam arch-supports are killing me", the could be metaphorical, meaning Linda's support, thus subtly introducing that her smothering could be the reason for his deliberation of self destruction and his cause for saying "the death" shown at the very start of the play.Willy's relationship with Linda is even more complex and interesting. In one of his moments of self-doubt, she assures him that he is a good provider for the family and that he is handsome. She also sees through his lie when he tries to convince her that he got a higher commission than he really did from his latest trip....

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