The Mistress in Death of a Salesman
The mistress, sultry yet sophisticated, played a larger part in the
play, Death of A Salesman, than most would imagine. While she does not
make an appearance in the play, she does appear in Willy’s remembered
time. During his daydreams, she is referred to as “the woman”. The
woman in Death of A Salesman never appears in the play, but has a
noteworthy presence because she affects the action, theme, and the
development of other characters.
As an outcome of having a mistress, Willy’s fragile ego is boosted.
For example, while he is on his lengthy business trips, she lavishes
him attention and affirmation. Willy’s last name, Loman, gives insight
into the fact that many people do not see Willy as a successful man.
The woman, on the other hand, does. Furthermore, she tells him that
she selected him out of all the salesmen. This makes him feel quite
superior to the other salesmen and gives him a higher self-esteem. In
addition, she tells him that the next time he came, she would let him
go directly through to see the buyers without having to wait in line.
Willy had not been successful in his business trips for quite awhile
so when she tells him this, it makes him feel as if he is a success.
While Willy is getting a boost of self-esteem, Biff, his son, is
yearning for Willy’s support.
Biff travels to Boston to ask his father for assistance. Instead of
getting help, he finds out the truth about his father. After he finds
out about the woman, he realizes his dad is a fake. Willy was someone
he admired but now all he sees is a phoney. Moreover, Willy’s
infidelity strips Biff of his faith in his father. He held his
father’s ideas in high esteem but now was disgusted with him. He could
not handle his father’s greatest ego stroking lie. All of the
aspirations Willy had for Biff never came true Biff did not want...