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Linda As An Anabler In Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller

1346 words - 5 pages

There are many examples throughout the play: Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller that reveals that Linda is the classic enabler who indirectly causes the dysfunction in the Loman household. Willy has problems with his memory, but Linda is always making excuses for Willy’s many mistakes. Making those kinds of excuses for someone’s mistakes is just as bad as the mistake itself. 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.
To start with, in the play Linda makes many excuses for Willy. For example, Willy says, “I suddenly couldn’t drive anymore. The car kept going off onto the shoulder ya know?” Linda replied, “Maybe it’s your glasses” (Miller 22). By making these kinds of excuses, it’s almost like Linda is ignoring the problems Willy has with his head. Also, Willy says, “I suddenly couldn’t drive anymore.” Linda replied, “Oh, maybe it was the steering again” (Miller 27). Willy doesn’t make excuses for himself, its Linda who acts like nothing is wrong. Willy is living half in the past and half in the present. In the play, Willy says, “It took me nearly four hours from Yonkers.” Linda replied, “Well, you’ll just have to take a rest” (Miller 27). By making all of these excuses, it shows that Linda refuses to believe that Willy has problems, and she tries brushing it off like it’s no big deal. She knows there are problems, but she is unwilling to face them.
Many articles explain that Linda Loman is the cause of dysfunction in the Loman House. One article read, “Linda believes that if her sons become successful then Willy’s fragile psyche will heal itself” ("Linda Loman: The Wife in "Death of a Salesman"). She thinks that Willy will just get better on his own. She refuses to believe that he needs serious help. Another quote read, “Linda never confronts Willy about his suicidal tendencies or his delusional conversations with ghosts of the past” ("Linda Loman: The Wife in "Death of a Salesman"). This quote shows that Linda just played her role as a house wife. She never really confronted Willy about his problems, and it just made everything worse. Another good quote in this article I found said, “She expects her sons to manifest the corporate dreams of their father” ("Linda Loman: The Wife in "Death of a Salesman"). She expects her sons, Happy and Biff, to do the same work that Willy did. She is relying entirely on them to make Willy better, and she’s not doing anything to help. It should be her job as a wife to make sure that her husband is healthy. She really let the whole family down.
Linda Loman never had a job in the play either. Her husband, Willy Loman, was the one who had to earn all the money in the house, and he was the one with memory problems. Their house was extremely dysfunctional. If Linda had a job, I think Willy would have lived, and not have committed suicide. Willy’s sons, Biff and Happy, really didn’t help out their dad...

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