Saturday, January 7, 2012

What do we know about Linda? What can we guess? Does she know about the Woman in Boston? What makes you think she does or doesn't? Describe her relationship with Willy and with her sons. Is her character the same in reality and in Willy's memories of her?

Not much is known about the life of Linda Loman before her marriage with Willy Loman. Throughout the play she is shown to be a kindhearted, caring woman who is able to look past her husbands flaws and stick with him no matter what is happening. She has enormous stores of patience in dealing with Willy and her sons, although you can tell she is worn thin at times. Linda is not as naive as she might appear to be to some people though. She hears one word and understands two when it comes to her husband. She knew without Willy telling her that he has to get fifty dollars a month from Charley, but she pretends she thinks it is Willy's actual pay. She seems to understand what he needs even though it is clear that he does not even know what he needs.

However, I do not believe that she knows about the Woman in Boston... Is she does in fact know, she does not let on throughout the course of the play. I do not think Linda would treat Willy so well if she knew he was having an affair with another woman. Although, she might love Willy so much that she might be able to overlook being cheated on. She's overlooked many of Willy's faults in the past, why not this one?

In terms of her relationship with Willy and her sons, she holds much influence, even though she remains a little subordinate to her husband, probably a product of the time period the play was written to reflect. During Willy's flashbacks however, Linda appears to speak her mind more, and have more say in her relationship with her husband. In what is considered the "present" of the play, she is unable to say much before Willy quiets her and she does not express her opinions and things of that nature. Willy's memories, Linda is stronger and has more hope for her husband. In their older age,  Linda seems to have devoted her life to simply supporting her husband day by day. In the past, she did not have to worry about things like Willy trying to kill himself. You could say a weight had settled on Linda's shoulders that was not there in Willy's memories of her. As life goes on, a person has more to deal with. This certainly applies to Linda Loman.