Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller - What feelings are evoked in the audience towards Linda?

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After reading the play, I think that there are many feelings evoked towards Linda. There is pity and sympathy and some resentment at her denying Willy the chance to work in Alaska. She is a hard-working wife and loving mother. One could blame her for Willy’s suicide but this would be harsh, as she feels that she must go along with what Willy believes and not interfere.

To begin with, there is her relationship with her sons. She loves them very much, and wants the best for them. When they come home she is obviously extremely pleased.

She says: “It was so nice to see them shaving together, one behind the other, in the bathroom. 

We can see that she is a caring and devoted mother when she defends Biff whilst Willy criticises him:

Willy: “…But it’s more than ten years now and he has yet to make thirty-five dollars a week!”

Linda: “He’s finding himself, Willy.”

Willy: “Not finding yourself at the age of thirty-four is a disgrace!”

Linda: “Shh!”

Willy: “The trouble is he’s lazy, goddammit!”
Linda: “Willy, please!”

Her sons disappoint her, especially when they desert Willy at Frank’s Chop House where they were meant to be having dinner with him. She is angry with them, and shouts at them:

You invite him to dinner. He looks forward to it all day – and then you desert him there. There’s no stranger you’d do that to!

Get out of here, both of you, and don’t come back!

You’re a pair of animals! Not one, not another living soul would have the cruelty to walk out on that man in a restaurant.

Despite this, Biff and Happy love her very much and respect her. Biff refers to her as his “pal” and is upset to see her hair turning grey:

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Biff: “…Your hair got so grey.”

Linda: “Oh, it’s been grey since you were in high school. I just stopped dyeing it, that’s all.”

Biff: “Dye it again, will ya? I don’t want my pal looking old.”

Happy also respects her and when he describes the kind of girl he would like to meet, he says:

…Somebody with character, with resistance! Like Mom, y’know?

He also says this of her: “What a woman! They broke the mould when they made her. You know that Biff?

Biff is also sensitive to the way Willy treats her, ...

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