What do the introductory remarks reveal about his wife, Linda?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The set design details reveal much about the relationship between Linda and Wily.  The fundamental idea brought about by the introductory remarks, set design, is that there is an easy movement between past and present, indicating that Wily and his relationships, by default including Linda, constantly morph from present to past, and back again.  This helps to explain some of the fundamental premises between both Wily and Linda.  The large apartment buildings that crowd and oppress both of them, speaks to the years of marriage, complete with their dissatisfaction, which have taken their toll on both of them.  Miller's notes at the start of the play depicts Linda in an interesting manner:

...she more than loves [Willy], she admires him, as though his mercurial nature, his temper, his massive dreams and little cruelties, served her only as sharp reminders of the turbulent longings within him, longings which she shares but lacks the temperament to utter and follow to their end.

This can be meant to be read as while Linda has complete devotion to Wily, their relationship is precarious and not very strong.  The depiction of Linda as the prototype of American wife in Post World War II America helps to enhance this, and through the introductory remarks, we begin to understand this about Linda.  In the final analysis, she is highly devoted to their marriage, but when there is a lack of emotional affect between both parties to be able to speak and live honestly without preconceptions, challenges abound.  Certainly, the opening comments help to convey this.

Read the study guide:
Death of a Salesman

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question