Linda Loman represents a point of view that mediates the conflicting views of Willi and his son. She struggles to keep her family together. Linda Loman a wife and a mother understand too well the conflict that is eating away at her family. Her husband and her son Biff are constantly fighting with each other. She tries to make each one of them see the others perspective in an effort to bring them together. Her husband feels her son has failed to live up to his expectations to settle down in business. Her son feels that he was not meant to be a businessman as he swears to her that he was never fit for business. Her husband feels that instead of moving away to look for employment elsewhere her son should have stayed home to practice business. The son cites the fact that his father has amounted to nothing after spending all his life as a salesman. He mentions that his father is a failure and has no wish to follow in those footsteps a point which is not well taken by her husband and his storms out angrily. She tries to mediate peace between them by urging her son to understand him. She begs him to go along and to say goodnight to his father saying it takes so little to make him happy. When Biff breaks down in tears and tells his father that he is what he is, and he cannot be what his father dreams him to be, her husband is astonished that his son still likes him. She tells her husband that his son loves him a fact she has been trying to prove all along by bringing peace between them and making each understand the others position and perspective (Yasinski 7).
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2. Linda's loyalty as a housewife
Linda is a loyal wife to her husband. This fact is illustrated by the fact that when her husband gets home she greets him with concern and she is quick to ask on his happiness. She is worried that he may not be well and enquires as to his whereabouts all day. She does this carefully and delicately in an effort not to hurt his pride and feelings.
When her husband tries to explain why he could not finish his journey to work, she does her best to identify with his situation by offering him suggestions to why the reason he could not focus on his destination. She tries to make him understand that his mind is overactive in his dreams, and he needs to ease his mind by taking a rest. When husband is astonished at his sons crying, she comforts him by telling him that his son still loves him. A statement that is most comforting, and reassuring to her husband.
Linda recognizes that her husbands work is very important to him. She prepares his breakfast for him in readiness for work. She understands his aspirations, his ambitions and his dreams. Some times she dares to hope and dream along with him even though she realizes that some of his dreams will never be realized. Each morning she waves him off to work because she knows that, without his work, he would breakdown completely.
3. Linda asserts herself
Linda in the play asserts her self in the play as a mother and a figure of authority when she confronts biff on his attitude towards his father. She tells him that his father's condition gets worse when he gets home. She wonders why they are so hateful to each other. She reprimands him on his nomadic nature of moving from one place to another without care of staying in one place. She implores him to understand his father and be more tolerant to his way of thinking instead of fighting with him every time.
She asserts herself to her husband Willy by standing up to him when he claims that his son has insulted him by saying he whistles in the elevator like a carpenter. She realizes that her husband has misinterpreted Biffs statement and tries to make him see reason. Her husband realizing he cannot win the argument storms out to go sleep.
When her husband gets home upset after getting fired and his confrontation with his son at the restaurant, she gets angry and tells them to leave the house and not to come back because she does not want them tormenting her husband any more. She asserts her self with authority and dignity of a person holding the family together.
4. Linda's opinion of Willy
Despite Linda's love for her husband, she knows that he is not perfect nor is he the greatest man that ever lived. She states that he has his flows and thus his character is not perfect a fact that she states applies to all human beings. She understands that he is not a successful man who refuses to acknowledge that fact. She understands that her husband's greatest flow is his pride and ego.
Although most people think that Willy has lost his mind, she understands that her husband is an exhausted man from all his years as a sales man and having made nothing of himself. She understands that her husband is exhausted from all the mileage he has to travel to work every day and wonders why he cannot work closer to home.
She knows well that her husband is vulnerable after working for his company for so many years and not be appreciated for it. She wonders why after opening so many unheard of places to their trademark the company takes his salary away leaving him with nothing and vulnerable. She also understands that like every other person he is vulnerable to human emotions and feelings and, therefore, she asks her son not judge him harshly.
Linda understands that her husband is human like everyone else and, therefore, he cannot be a perfect man, husband or father. Everyone has his/her shortcomings. She knows it is human for her husband to dream and have hopes of being very successful even though things are not in his favor. She understands that it is human for a father to have expectations of his son. Therefore, it is only human for any parent to direct his son in the direction he thinks is best for him. She knows despite Willy's shortcomings he is only as human as can be.
5. Her reaction to her husband's death
At her husband's funeral, Linda wonders why there were so few people at the funeral. She cannot seem to understand why all the people her husband knew in the course of his career did not show up for his funeral she thinks they blame him for committing suicide. Charley disagrees with that thought and tells her that it is a rough world out there and no one would blame him for what he did. He understands that salesmen meet a lot of people and get to be liked by very few.
At the grave side, she says they are free and clear meaning that they were no longer in indebted to anyone as she had cleared paying the mortgage on the house. She is sad that they are free from any debts, and her husband is not there to share that moment with her. She has cleared paying for the house, yet she cannot imagine living in it without him. Some times she thinks he is in one of his trips only he is not. She wonders why he could not hold on to share this moment with her. What is the use of spending his life paying debts, and when they are free and clear of them he is not there to share what he spent his life paying for. She feels alone and cannot imagine living without him (McLanathan & Brown 291).
Linda manages to mediate the conflicting views of Willy and his son. She also struggles hard to maintain her family and keep it together. This is depicted in her loyalty to the family and her opinion about her husband.
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