View mindmap
  • Linda: driven by desperation and fear
    • Who?
      • Wife of Willy Loman, mother of Biff and Happy Loman
    • First impressions
      • Stage directions
        • 'Most often jovial'
          • She keeps the family together with her jovial nature
            • She is extremely kind e.g. offering Will cheese she has bought specially
              • But the kindness is often thrown back in her face
                • 'Why did you get American when I like Swiss?'
                  • However she usually accepts this rejection with 'infinite patience'
        • 'Developed an iron repression'
          • She is ready to excuse anything he does
        • 'She more than loves him, she admires him'
          • She is a defender of Willy
        • 'Longings which she shares'
      • Section 1
        • Familiar with Willy's behaviour
          • She speaks 'very carefully, delicately'
        • Willy's backbone
          • 'She is taking off his shoes'
          • 'Should I get you an aspirin?'
    • Innocent defender of Willy, indirectly causing his death
      • She defends everything Willy stands for
        • She says he is 'only a little boat looking for a harbour'
        • 'A small man can be just as exhausted as a great man'
      • Constantly boosts his morale
        • She is his 'foundation and my support'
        • He tells her he is ''very foolish to look at'
          • She responds 'Willy darling you're the handsomest man in the world'
      • Defends him to the boys
        • 'Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a man'
        • She offers the boys an ultimatum
          • 'Either he's your father and you pay him respect, else you're not to come here'
    • Feminist reading
      • Her fault?
        • Linda's innocent belief and encouragement of Willy indirectly lead to his suicide
          • She also begs him to 'stay with her and the children' when he wants to leave for Alaska
            • Women holding men back?
        • She doesn't confront Willy to avoid responsibility
      • She is subject to a cycle of looking after other people
        • Often her stage directions involve satisfying another's need
          • 'Carring a wash bin'
    • Understands Willy
      • Sees through most of his exaggerations, but she too is blinded by his dreams
        • E.g. she knows he borrows money off Charley
      • 'I know he's not easy to get along with, no one knows that better than me'
      • She knows he is suicidal
        • This makes her anxious, means she lives 'from day to day'
  • 'I swear to God Biff, his life is in your hands!'
    • She says she understands Willy, yet is to frightened to confront him
    • Emotionally manipulative, puts the blame for Willy's problems on her son's to avoid responsibility


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all Death of a Salesman resources »