Their Common Enemy




Their Common Enemy


It is known that a number of students dislike school. School is a big
topic of conversation in every student's life. Some students enjoy the work but
most talk about how horrible it is. Take a random group of students; have an
open discussion on school work and you will find that students will be agreeing
with each other about how stressed they are. The students found a common enemy
and it brought them closer because they could talk bad about school and agree
with each other. Just like the students who bond when talking about schoolwork,
Linda and Willy from Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, bond when they
discuss money. "Well it makes 70 dollars and some pennies, That's very good
(35)." Linda says this to Willy after she found out that his pay wasn't as
expected. Whenever they talk about paying their mortgage they seem to
compromise and have a healthy conversation. Usually when they talk about other
important issues, they end up arguing because Willy has a short temper. "You
shouldn't have criticized him, Willy, especially after he just got off the train.
You mustn't lose your temper with him (15)." Willy has no shame because he will
talk about anyone and not care. Talking about their mortgage helps them to stay
together by agreeing with one another. Whenever the topic comes up, their moods
totally change and even though they might not know it; they act as if paying
their mortgage is their favorite thing to discuss.

"WILLY: `Well, that's a great thing. To weather a twenty-five year
mortgage is ------ .'
LINDA: `It's and accomplishment.' (73). When they are almost done paying
they are very happy and even Willy makes a comment; but he stops himself from
expressing his true feelings. Why? Why does Willy prevent himself from being
happy with the good things that he has in his life? He tries to live a life
that doesn't exist and ends up agonizing. He should just enjoy what he already
has and work with it. What ends up happening is that Willy becomes his own
enemy so it's not about the mortgage or money anymore. He is the enemy and
Linda, Biff and Happy are the one's that come together to help Willy be content.
LINDA: `He's dying Biff.'
BIFF: `Why is he dying?'
LINDA: `He's been trying to kill himself.' (58)"

Linda and Biff come together even more because of Willy trying to commit suicide.
Willy is destroying himself because he is too much of a dreamer.
Linda talks to Willy realistically and tries to break up his dreams. If
Willy was to keep waiting for the dreams he would go insane. Linda knows this
and explains to him that his dreams will never come true. She cares too much
about her kids, herself and Willy to let him waste his life. Biff and Happy are
constantly talking to him and making him feel important. They try distracting
him from dreaming. Linda, Biff and Happy all talk about, and agree with what to
do to help Willy. Willy is the common enemy that brings Linda, Biff and Happy
together and to be trustworthy of each other, which in turn allows Willy's fall
to be softer. Being close makes Willy's possible death a little easier because
they can support each other rather than blame each other.
This family is a classic case of finding a common enemy and working with it
to come together. The common enemy started out to be money, but that was a
disguise for the real enemy - Willy. The student's enemy being school could
bring them together and potentially find a way to resolve their common problem.
Linda, Biff and Happy bond with each other to help Willy stop dreaming, and
appreciate his life.