Is Linda Loman in the play Death of a Salesman, just as delusional as the other characters? 

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The character of Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman has the task of serving as the uneven foundation of a home where fantasy and reality are not quite delineated.

As a wife, she is the epitome of subservience and support. She even goes as far as placing Willy before her two sons in order to "save" Willy from fits of anger, or from any kind of humiliation.

As a mother, she has only had as much free reign as Willy has allowed her. Being the mother of two boys, Willy was very much interested in turning his so-called "Adonises" into successful replicas of himself.

However, Linda is not delusional. She is merely a weak follower of very dysfunctional men and, just because they are men, she feels as if all she can do is wait until they figure themselves out. The evidence that Linda is not delusional can be found from the very beginning of the play when she says the words

I don't say he's a great man. Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid.

Additionally, Linda does not deny the fact that Willy has tried to commit suicide although she has not told Willy that she has found this out. She tells her son, Biff, however, and she also tells him about the consistent hallucinations that Willy is having.

This being said, Linda is fully aware of her situation, but for the sake of the family prefers to use denial as a way to soften an otherwise horrid state of things. She cannot get away from it too much, for she knows that the life of her husband, and therefore her own future, is at stake. When she proposes that the men reunite altogether at the restaurant, she does this in aims that a miracle would occur and things get back to their regular place. When the meeting turns into a disaster, Linda is more than aware that chaos will happen next. She tells her two sons this much, allowing the audience to understand that Linda not always expresses everything that she knows, but knows more than we think.

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