Motivation In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

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Linda is surrounded by men that are caught in a painful cycle of false hope and disappointment. Her suicidal husband and aimless sons are the source of most of her troubles and yet they are the driving force of her life. Linda’s main motivation is her love for Willy and the fear of his death and this causes her to deny his mental illness and enable his abusive behavior. She is stuck in the middle of a feud between a father and son, and acts as a peacekeeper as she clings to the illusion of a happy home. Linda is motivated by love for her husband and the fear of losing him to his own mind. Linda remains blind to her husband’s adultery, and while she is aware of his degrading mental health, she keeps an image of Willy in her head, an image of a handsome and “well liked” salesman and father. She tells her sons that “He’s not the finest character […] but he is human” (56). She accepts his failings, but denies the idea that he is already lost. Even with Willy’s …show more content…
When she finds the pipe in the basement, she initially takes it away, but she later decides to put it back as she explains “how could I insult him that way” (60). She fears that if Willy learns of her discovery, his resulting embarrassment will further damage his mental health. This also shows how Linda enables Willy’s behavior by refusing to confront him. Linda’s enabling behavior is also apparent in various scenes when she will divert the blame for Willy’s behavior onto her son’s. An example of this happens when Biff, defending Linda, yells at Willy for his verbal abuse of his mother. Linda responds to this, saying to Biff “what’d you have to start that for?” (65). It is clear that Willy was the source of the dispute, and yet Linda continues to defend him, instead blaming Biff for upsetting his father. With all of Willy’s imperfections Linda remains steadfast in her vision of

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