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THEIR COMMON ENEMY
It is known that a number of students dislike school. School is a big topic of conversation in every studentıs 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. ³Well it makes 70 dollars and some pennies, Thatıs very good (35).² Linda says this to Willy after she found out that his pay wasnıt 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. ³You shouldnıt have criticized him, Willy, especially after he just got off the train. You mustnıt lose your temper with him (15).² 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.
³WILLY: Well, thatıs a great thing. To weather a twenty-five year mortgage is ------ .ı
LINDA: Itıs and accomplishment.ı (73).²
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 doesnıt 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 itıs not about the mortgage or money anymore. He is the enemy and Linda, Biff and Happy are the oneıs that come together to help Willy be content.
³LINDA: Heıs dying Biff.ı
BIFF: Why is he dying?ı
LINDA: Heıs been trying to kill himself.ı (58)²
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 Willyıs fall to be softer. Being close makes Willyıs 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 studentıs 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.
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Literature, English-language films, Theatre, Death of a Salesman, Fiction, Arthur Miller, Willy, Henry Gauthier-Villars
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