Why do Linda's stockings make Willy nervous?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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In the Arthur Miller play Death of a Salesman, the aging Willy Loman had previously been engaged in an affair with The Woman, to whom he had given a pair of silk stockings. His teenage son Biff discovers the two together and accuses his father of giving his mother's stockings to The Woman. During a flashback sequence, Willy reminisces about his time with The Woman, but when he returns from the flashback, he discovers his wife Linda sewing a pair of old stockings. He angrily takes them from her. The stockings serve as a symbol of Willy's guilt over his adulterous behavior. Additionally, new stockings symbolically represent financial security.