In 1949, the pinnacle of contemporary American playwright, Arthur Miller, published his works “Death of a Salesman”. After the advent of this play, not only caused a sensation in the theaters in the United States, but also became the Western model of modern tragedy as one of the most important drama after America's World War II. Miller was twice won the “New York Drama Critics Award” and also awarded the “Pulitzer Prize.”[
See “Death of Salesman” introduction of Arthur Miller.] In“Death of a Salesman,” Miller used a short period of time of main character’s life to reflect his whole tragedy life. He borrowed some expressionist approach, broke the imagination and reality, past and present ...view middle of the document...
[ See “On the narrative function of Linda” Chinese translated to English by myself.]
In most situations, women do not have right to express themselves. They often lost in the identity of the mother and the wife, and can not find themselves. This is the most important trauma women got in that period of time. Linda, as Willy’s wife, is the ideal conservative housewife. Linda has always behaved very patient. Even Willy was so rude to her after his long day, she was never angry with him, and always tried to comfort him. She took off Willy’s shoes for him, and tried to make every effort to rebuild his confidence. She does all these nice things for him and he comes to expect them like they are nothing. Willy treated her with irritable temper, he always replied tartly about Linda’s questioning.
“Linda, trying to bring him out of it: Willy, dear, I got a new kind of American-type cheese today. It’s whipped. Willy: Why do you get American when I like Swiss? Linda: I just thought you’d like a Change-- Willy: I don’t want a change! I want Swiss cheese. Why am I always being Contradicted? Linda, with a covering laugh: I thought it would be a surprise.(Miller 16-17)”
Obviously, we can feel Willy’s accusations toward Linda are groundless at all. She put up with Willy’s rudeness, his cruelty and foolishness and still got him sandwiches with swiss cheese he likes. As we can see, Linda lost herself and only cares about other people no matter what.
Linda is always being a good wife and caring for her husband and her sons. She provides the Lomans family with comfort and shelter. However, Willy has very little respect for her. In Act I, When Willy, Biff, and Happy were discussing about opening a “Loman Brothers” sporting goods store, Linda tried to join in their conversation. By saying things to encourage Biff to get the money from Oliver, Willy got annoyed and cut her off many times when she was speaking questions.[ See “Death of Salesman”late few pages of Act I, they are talking about open a sporting goods store.] “Linda: Isn’t that wonderful? Willy: Don’t interrupt!... (Miller 62)” Another disrespectful example towards Linda is that on one of his business trips to Boston, he had an affair with a woman and gave her a new pair of stockings while Linda sat at home and mended her own old stockings.[ See ”Death of Salesman” page from 38 to 39, Willy had a affair with the woman.] Because of Willy’s bad behavior, his son Biff also refers to his mother sort of in a disrespectful way.
“Biff: I was on the move. But you know I thought of you all the time. You know that, don't you, pal? Linda: I know, dear, I know. But he likes to have a letter. Just to know that there’’s still a possibility for better things" (Miller 54).”
As Linda is his mother, Biff should not talk to her in this way, like“You are on my moves”, or “You are bothering me.” Also, Linda lost her identity as a mother. She failed to point out Biff’s wrong behaviors and she acted so nonchalant...