Death Of A Salesman Letter To My Mother
It’s been a week since I came to visit your sister’s family. I am continually amazed at how much I miss you. Whilst living with the Loman’s I have observed several things that I have deemed queer that I wish to share with you.
Uncle Willy is a very hardworking man. He works day and night to earn enough money to pay his bills. He was away for the first five days of my visit but has returned recently from work. The amount of stress that accompanies his work seems to take a toll on his mental health. I have observed that he takes his stress out on his family, in particular, Aunt Linda. He tells me that he is a very successful businessman. He claims that he has friends in every city that he visits and that he is welcomed everywhere he goes. However, I never see any of them visit the house. I wonder why that is. However, for someone who is apparently doing so well in his line of work he often loses his temperament. He loses his concentration frequently and easily. Also, Willy lives in a world of his own. Curiously enough, Uncle Willy seems to not listen to those around him. He only listens to what he wants to hear. It seems as though he is as stubborn as you, mom!!! Also, it appears that he is occupied in a world of his own. Despite these eccentricities, Uncle Willy seems like a man who believes in himself no matter what and is willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. Do you think he’ll be really successful like he says he will mom? Sometimes I wonder…
Then there’s Aunt Linda. She is a very patient woman. She keeps track of everything in the household. She keeps everything running from finances to the appearance of the house. She seems very worrisome. Why do you think that is, mom? All in all, Aunt Linda is a very quiet and reserved woman—the exact opposite of you, eh ma? The stress that Willy takes home from his work seems to be taking a physical toll on Aunt Linda. Don’t tell her I told you this but she looks more and more like grandma every day. All kidding aside though, Aunt Linda is a very caring and living individual.
Their older son Biff is dishonest and kind of a simpleton. He thinks he is “all that” if you know what I mean. Since I have arrived he has spoken about several job opportunities, none of which developed into anything. Also, I might be wrong but I think I have seen him steal several things. In particular, I have concluded that he has stolen some of the money you gave me. Why do you think he does this, mom? I’ve heard many stories of how he is an accomplished athlete; I wonder what happened to him. It seems like he spends his days feeling sorry for himself a lot of the time and trying to figure himself out. Overall, Biff seems like he never lived up to his potential.
Their youngest son Happy is almost ignored by everyone else in his family. He is of low moral character; I find the fact that he canoodles with many women despicable. He is very ambitious and determinedly positive. He is very good looking and it’s a shame that he is not doing as well at his job as he would like but at least he shows some initiative in his search for a better life. When it comes to his place in the family he is liked—but not well-liked.
The interaction between Uncle Willy and Aunt Linda appears to be almost contradictory. He loves and depends on her but still keeps a certain distance to her. He resists going to bed with her and rarely has an emotional discussion with her. Do you think their marriage is in trouble, mom? Uncle Willy’s feelings towards Biff are very strong. He often argues with Biff over issues that don’t seem relevant. However, he admires Biff to the point of referring to him as an Adonis. I just don’t see it, do you? Uncle Willy’s attitude towards Happy is a curiosity. I know he must be proud of him yet he does not show it. He rarely speaks to him and never has time for him. Aunt Linda loves Uncle Willy unconditionally and protects him from unpleasant realities. She wants him to be happy even when the reality of the situation is bad. She is always trying to stand between Willy and her sons to ease the tension.
Aunt Linda has an awkward relationship with her kids. Aunt Linda wants Biff to face reality and be responsible. She never admires Happy at all and often does not respond him. She never takes him seriously and I have never seen her have a one-on-one conversation with Happy.
Biff also feels very strongly about Uncle Willy as Uncle Willy feels strongly about Biff. He is caught up in love-hate relationship with his dad. They hardly speak without getting into fight. He is annoyed and is in agony about his dad when he hears that Uncle Willy is now on straight commission. Billy pays more attention to Happy than anyone else in the family does. He wanted to work with him. He listens to Happy’s ideas but if the plan fails he turns against Happy. Happy searches for Willy’s approval. Why do you think Uncle Willy does not recognize accomplishments?
Mom I think that something very traumatic might have happened to the family especially to Biff and Uncle Willy. Also, with regards to Happy, I feel he does not get the praise he deserves. I think Biff knows something and he is hiding it from his family members. Biff should really have a talk with the rest of the people in this house. I am worried greatly about Aunt Linda. I think that some day she will lose her patience because she continually bottles up her emotions and opinions. I get the feeling that something awful is just about to happen as Aunt Linda has repeatedly asked Biff to start taking better care of Uncle Willy. Uncle Willy is showing signs of being on the verge of a mental breakdown. This is shown through his many conversations with himself about events that transpired some years ago. All in all, I am very worried about this family as it seems that their lack of communication and the dwindling mental health of Uncle Willy are tearing the family apart. Given all that I have said about the condition of this family, do you think they stand a chance at pulling it together? Do you think that they will ever learn to appreciate each other? I can’t wait to hear from you, mom. I really would like to know your thoughts on this.