Death of a Salesman Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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Who exactly is "The Woman" in The Death Of A Salesman?

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Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Woman is one of the characters who appears only in Willy’s mind. Similar to his brother Ben, the Woman is part of a memory or a hallucination that plagues Willy. While Ben appears as if he is present in the current era, and Willy converses with him, the Woman is confined to the past. She and Linda, the only two female characters, are presented as foils. While Linda epitomizes security and domesticity, the Woman stands for the fantasy life that Willy constantly thinks of as superior to what he actually has.

The Woman’s symbolic role is more important than her actual identity. She works with one of the clients on his New England route, and Willy has an affair with her while on the road. The fact that she alone has no name in the play both indicates that Arthur Miller has confined her to a symbolic role, and that her actual identity did not, and still does not, matter to Willy. The audience is left to decide if he even remembers her name. If not, given that he retains dozens of minor...

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zumba96 | Student

"The Woman" is who Willy had an affair with. He cannot seem to get her off of his mind and always views the stockings as a part of the Woman. This is a constant reminder of his affair he had, and because of his affair, he drifted from Biff. His flashbacks mirror expectancy versus reality within the play.