August 23rd, 2006
Arthur Miller
None Without Sin

In the period immediately following the end of World War II, American theater was transformed by the work of playwright Arthur Miller. Profoundly influenced by the Depression and the war that immediately followed it, Miller tapped into a sense of dissatisfaction and unrest within the greater American psyche. His probing dramas proved to be both the conscience and redemption of the times, allowing people an honest view of the direction the country had taken.

Arthur Miller was born in Manhattan in 1915 to Jewish immigrant parents. By 1928, the family had moved to Brooklyn, after their garment manufacturing business began to fail. Witnessing the societal decay of the Depression and his father’s desperation due to business failures had an enormous effect on Miller. After graduating from high school, Miller worked a number of jobs and saved up the money for college. In 1934, he enrolled in the University of Michigan and spent much of the next four years learning to write and working on a number of well-received plays.

After graduating, Miller returned to New York, where he worked as a freelance writer. In 1944, his first play, “The Man Who Had All the Luck”, opened to horrible reviews. A story about an incredibly successful man who is unhappy with that success, “The Man Who Had All The Luck” was already addressing the major themes of Miller’s later work. In 1945, Miller published a novel, FOCUS, and two years later had his first play on Broadway. “All My Sons,” a tragedy about a manufacturer who sells faulty parts to the military in order to save his business, was an instant success. Concerned with morality in the face of desperation, “All My Sons” appealed to a nation having recently gone through both a war and a depression.

Only two years after the success of “All My Sons,” Miller came out with his most famous and well-respected work, “Death of a Salesman.” Dealing again with both desperation and paternal responsibility, “Death of a Salesman” focused on a failed businessman as he tries to remember and reconstruct his life. Eventually killing himself to leave his son insurance money, the salesman seems a tragic character out of Shakespeare or Dostoevsky. Winning both a Pulitzer Prize and a Drama Critics Circle Award, the play ran for more than seven hundred performances. Within a short while, it had been translated into over a dozen languages and had made its author a millionaire.

Overwhelmed by post-war paranoia and intolerance, Miller began work on the third of his major plays. Though it was clearly an indictment of the McCarthyism of the early 1950s, “The Crucible” was set in Salem during the witch-hunts of the late 17th century. The play, which deals with extraordinary tragedy in ordinary lives, expanded Miller’s voice and his concern for the physical and psychological wellbeing of the working class. Within three years, Miller was called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and convicted of contempt of Congress for not cooperating. A difficult time in his life, Miller ended a short and turbulent marriage with actress Marilyn Monroe. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he wrote very little of note, concentrating at first on issues of guilt over the Holocaust, and later moving into comedies.

It was not until the 1991 productions of his “The Ride Down Mount Morgan” and “The Last Yankee” that Miller’s career began to see a resurgence. Both plays returned to the themes of success and failure that he had dealt with in earlier works. Concerning himself with the American dream, and the average American’s pursuit of it, Miller recognized a link between the poverty of the 1920s and the wealth of the 1980s. Encouraged by the success of these works, a number of his earlier pieces returned to the stage for revival performances.

More than any other playwright working today, Arthur Miller has dedicated himself to the investigation of the moral plight of the white American working class. With a sense of realism and a strong ear for the American vernacular, Miller has created characters whose voices are an important part of the American landscape. His insight into the psychology of desperation and his ability to create stories that express the deepest meanings of struggle, have made him one of the most highly regarded and widely performed American playwrights. In his eighty-fifth year, Miller remains an active and important part of American theater.

  • zdfh

    arthur miller is extremly boring and i do not like him

  • yo mama

    i love this website

  • arthur miller

    arthur miller is an ugly annoying boring play writer than i can not stand to do an english project on any more

  • Billy bob

    He is my hero and i love him with all my heart.

  • arthurrocks

    arthur miller is sweet

  • bkizzelll

    i love him.f u guys.hes hot.dont hate.haha.ha.

  • theresa laurence

    arthur miller is deep and dark but he’s cool at the same time!!! lol NOT!!!!!!!

  • noel

    this guy was a waste of breath
    he had no talent and bored people with his so called “work”

  • patel

    arthur miller fears nobody and he married marilyn monroe

  • Victoria

    Honestly people, the man is dead so there’s no use bashing him. His works are, of opinion to many, an amazing collection of real world issues within fictional embodiments. Others, many uninformed and have never even picked up a book of his, disagree. Just becaue you dislike reading and literature does not mean he was “a waste of breath”. No human on this earth, even those that are scum and murderers and rapists, are not a waste of breath. Yes they messed up, but they are not worthless. Arthur Miller was a man of true talent, and simply because you fall asleep “like twenty four times” (a number, which I assure you, no one cares about the slightest), does not make him “a waste”.

    And if you really want Spanish to rape your culture, welcome to America.

    Fairest wishes to all,
    Victoria Bedell

  • Me

    Arthur Miller is one of the greatest authers their ever was. The only people who wouldn’t like hime are people with no taste in books, or people who are too dumb or ignorant to understand his works.

  • Spencer Hasapes

    i think if he chose different story ideas his audience would be much much larger.

  • joeyjoe

    great play writer, great guy

  • esteban rodreguiz

    i think you number two are wrong if he was so ugly how do you explain his marriage to marylin monroe

  • lyly-anne

    Arthur Miller’s work is very “intrigant”and I don’t think that he is boring or anything else.
    My actual work is about his famous play “all my sons” and through this work we can descover many things about his own life.

  • McKinley

    Victoria Bedell completely dominated everyone who has participated in this comment forum. Bravo.

  • Zim

    whats there to say…they probably only married eachother for money since they both had it

  • nicole

    arthur miller and marilyn monroe????
    im filled with confusion.
    any juicy info i can use on my “crucible vs. mccartyism ” ppr?

  • Elizabeth

    Perhaps all the people who dislike Miller should try re reading him because things he wrote about are occuring this very minute in america and with our very government. definitely a cause for concern that certain individuals can not see how important he is to drama, politics, and freedom of speech and press!

  • Mia

    #52…

    You are absolutely right! Our country has no sense of history, and that’s our biggest problem! Did everyone see Congresswoman Michele Bachman on Hardball today? Literally, the most frightening thing I’ve EVER seen in my entire lifetime! Are we witnessing a new era of McCarthyism? She actually referred to liberals as “anti-American” and called for an investigation of Congress to search for and root out anti-American elected officials.

    Add this to Sarah Palin’s incendiary comments that Obama “pals around with terrorists” and the McCain Campaign’s new robo calls claiming that Obama “worked closely” with a terrorist whose radical group “killed Americans” and you have a recipe for the next great American witch hunt and a call to violence against Obama and his fellow Democrats.

    This is very dangerous rhetoric coming out of the Republican Party!!! Every American should study McCarthyism and read the Crucilble TODAY!

  • Megan

    I believe Arthur Miller to be one of literature’s most influential writers. He spans the gap between commercial and literary fiction with plots that are both entertaining and thought provoking. The fact that his plays are still studied around the world attests to his genius. His commentary on familial responsibility versus utilitarianism is relevant in any decade.

  • anicia

    what was is reason for writing the play about the salem witch trials ? homework lol (:

  • Julio Sosa

    Arturo, Sorete duro! Arthur Miller is a sexy son of a b…! ^-^

  • moira

    i think he’s a very interesting character and i’m priveledged to be writing an essay about him or else i never would have known some of these things…

  • doraid

    i found this website very useful and helpful.i’ll recomand it for people intersting in literature.

  • Lexy

    I Love the CRUCIBLE!!!!

  • Your Balls

    I love Arthur Miller

  • Spongebob Squarepants

    Arthur Miller is the shiz dawg

  • setter

    i think that he was very intelligent and knew how to write good plays, why else would he be so well known?

  • Otieno Were

    Miller is more misunderstood than appreciated.If we refrained from superficial reading,we’d discorver his real worth as a tragedian

  • the brown mex.

    well i think all of u that said bad things about are crazy he is a great person sike he sucks

  • yellow

    Arthur Miller is a great American playwright. His plays include a huge amount of symbolism and intellect. Those who are saying that he is boring and he sucks obviously do not understand how symbolic his plays are and how he contributed to modern drama. Understand the message of the plays before you criticize the playwright.

  • EBONII

    iim doiing a project for english, on arthur miller and i find his liife very interestiing. i find him weird also because he took the time to write aboutt the witch days and to me thats weird! he needs to go do somethiing with hiim self because the stories have no point! im so not interested! but i quess mrs.horn is, she gave my class that topic while the other english classes are doiiing there projects on there choice!!

  • drissassov

    Aprat from liking or disliking A.Miller,we should read objectively first his works.For a reader from another culture, Miller is a rebel,an idol.i appreciate so much his hero willy Louman.

  • Kolen

    I beleive Miller is the greatest play-writer of our, or anyones, time. The underlying messages behind everyone of his plays can teach us about mankind, our history, and overall ourselves.

  • bila loeak

    i’m tryin 2 write an essay bout u but its’s so hard

  • ricky troy

    Arthur Miller posseses a rare talent in the literary world.
    He presents the modern world with great intensity and enables the readers to feel the characters.

  • nicole

    interesting. :D

  • Ancerion_Skillet

    this sucks marylin could have done better

  • yeah boy

    i agree that aruther miller is boring and i am also sick of doing a paper on him

  • i love arthur miller

    i hate arthur miller.
    he is an overrated loser

    and im tired of doing my english paper on him

  • shmexy

    im doing a paper about him
    he is shmexy
    ilovethewordshmexy

  • George B.

    hehe
    this Miller light guy was a commie huh?

  • lola

    Arthur Miller-what can I say the guy could have been a bit more creative.

  • Hii iiM KiiND oF a BiiG dEal

    Arthur you iz da best dawg

  • such a gentleman( www.myspace.com/chosengeneration1990

    i have to truly agree with #32. dont hate on the man cuz he got paid and yall didnt. but seriously people think. maybe if YOU WOULDNT GO TO SLEEP, then you would understans his writing. all jokes aside, he really is kool on the writing subject.

  • Dwight Schrute

    I hate Arthur Miller. He has no valid skills that will help mankind. He has no idea about different kinds of bears, or how to farm beets.

  • craig

    a borin play

  • matthew

    what types of plays did he write??

  • Allison

    i love Arthur Miller. I love his works. I’ve read The Crucible and The Death of a Salesman, and i loved them both. If you don’t like him, you probably dont like plays, lol. i mean, it does get hard to read sometimes. But, from and acting standpoint, it is thrilling to play some of his characters, i would say.

  • WEST BOCA HIGH SCHOOL

    I`ve got to do a project on his guy and crucible sucked

  • scwhiteboy

    Arthur Miller is one of the best writers….

  • Pam

    Arthur Miller is so boring to read. I have to do a project on him…. Urgh!!

  • mootus

    Dude he is good and if you dont thank so then your just stuped

  • Dija

    I enjoyed studying Miller more than any other writer..his books are really good.

  • ms.thang

    Arthur Miller’s life should be honored not bashed. He made some pretty good works i reaaly like the crucible. Yes, he is kinda cute. He is like the white martin luther king. He stood up for what he believed in almost went to jail for trying to educate america. He is an outstanding playwrite. If you could see his views in the right light and open your mind a little then he wouldnt be boring. He talked about people like you small-minded people who left no room for creativity

  • idaho

    arthur miller was a unique man and he was the reason why im seeting here today doing this stupid project on him so thanks for your remarkeblal work

  • Bethany

    Ignorance and stupidty makes me laugh. Miller’s writing was profound escpecially based on the time he was writing in. His stories have been able to be transferred between time periods and have been proven valid enough to still be studied in high school and college.

  • Jessie B

    it doesn’t matter if you like him or not he still is one of the greatest playwrights alive hands down the ones who think he isn’t just don’t understand all his hard work and ya’ll need to grow up with all these stupid comments

  • Tiffany

    hey…this site really helped me out styop bashing the guy

  • Allison

    Wow, if you guys are really this opposed the literature you’re studying, than stop. Honestly, education is a priviledge. His works, like any honorable literature, question the basis of our lives and dreams. If you cannot honor a man that unraveled the reality we suppress from ourselves, go write your own award-winning play in which you sum up man, life, and the world to the rawest core. Once you have met this status, the you can bash him and ramble about turtles and chocolate

  • Eleni

    To All H.S. Students:
    I am sorry that you had such a difficult time reading and understanding ANY of Arthur Miller’s work, especially “Death of a Salesman” as it deals with alienation and existence. These are real anxieties typical of the post WW2 era and the 1950’s. An era filled with as much conservatism as restlessness. I hope that in college you will not shy away or “turn-off”as I once did in HS. I learned that sometimes you need to engage in dialogs and have at least read some Philosophy before engaging in certain topics of discourse. It will make you think differently. If you are catching yourself asking:
    “who am I?”;or “Why am I here?”; or question the validity of a perspective on reality, well then, you are on to what Miller is driving at in: “Death of a Salesman”. Don’t lose hope or dismiss it as whack simply because you’re not “feelin’ it”. You need some time. Just think about all those friends who had big dreams of making it to the NBA or having their own record label, dreaming HUGH while hanging out on the corner doing NOTHING. THAT is Willy Loeman [low man] get it??

  • Beauty_in_the_breakdown

    I agree with alot of the negativity..and those of you who said we shouldnt study him if we dont like it..most of us dont have a choice. If we wanna pass then we have to do this stupid thing..so dont get gettin attitude wit us H.S students over somethin you obviously know nothin about.

  • scenekid

    y do we have to do english paper over some guy thats dead now? anybody can write a play..heck i got a dang good imagination and can make a better one then that and go all out wit it..have dinosaurs! riding a rainbow into the magically land of tie-dye squirells! the dinosaurs are gonna be like RWAR! and bite ppls head off………psshhh yea im good i know it. that right there should win an oscar

  • dookie

    all of these comments are very interesting, and i don’t care what the assignment requires, im including some of these in my analytical report! booyacasha!!

    n guess wut u guys..we like all have the same h/w n went to the same site, can this world get any smaller?? brapzz!

  • dookie

    and i think he kinda looks like mark anthony…

  • Brad

    Honestly, I love reading and can understand why a man with so many works would be as famous as he is today, and normally i would be ashamed of so many fellow beings mocking the works of such a dedicaded man but honestly… despite my vast love of the arts i simply cannot get into his works. I too am doing a report on him and I simply cant stand how truly dull most of his works are. But in the same sense, you posers talking about how you could write anything better… well id love to see any of you get just ONE tony award with the grammar you idiots are using. No offense you guys, but come on. And also Im not mocking any of you who actually appreciate his work, I could understand how you could enjoy it.

    long story short, he’s not that great but those of you claiming that you could do any better are horribly mistaken. no offense.

  • joe

    i can’t stand arthur miller simply because he has caused me to do a research paper

  • wolfe

    im a H.S student im 17 and i personally think tha any one who hates this guy has either not paid attention in class or has no personallity because u think that its “boring”well it may be but that doesnt mean he is any less talinted keep in mind it was written almost 50 years ago i cant get into his books but that doesnt mean hes an awful play right and id also wagger that those of u who dont like him and are b*tching about him just need to shut the hell up and grow up because the world doesnt revolve around wat u do and do not want to do and complaining about a paper wont get it done quicker

  • jessica

    History is so cool,i love it and find it really funny well at least american history is the have pages and pages of men who were complete idiots like McCarthy who ruined peoples lives and no one cared except the people he ruined.

  • Ian

    dude, arthur miller went out with marylin monroe, that means my man got game.

  • Shenkin

    Time for an adult comment? The late Arthur Miller was not writing for boys & girls. AND his work has to be seen in production. Young critics – try View from The
    Bridge.

  • redouan ennahli

    i like arthur’s miller plays they are extremly wonderfulllll

  • Chatty Cathy

    Arthur Miller was a great playwright and he’s totally amazing. BTW this website is awesome :D

  • al

    arthur miller was an awesome playwriter

  • Sarah

    I am deeply ashamed that this is the youth of today. I read these comments and think, “Am I really lumped into this ignorant uneducated bunch?” All you care about is whether or not this will help you get maybe a C on your English paper. Do you even consider the history and cultural significance any of this has? WE INHERIT THIS WORLD! How can we properly take care if it if we do not know its history? We can not! And reading all of your complaints on “how booooring” this is. If you don’t have anything good to say, say nothing at all! I am sick of people being disrespectful. It is rude, and just plain mean. And I am extremely angered by these unintelligent, and down right embarrassing comments. You not only put yourselves to shame, but the whole youth of America. I am surprised most of you even know how to read this web page. Good luck on your report! You’ll need it!

  • A Jew

    He’s an inspiration to all of us jews

  • von baker

    arthur miller shouldnt be critized by any means..none of these people commenting on him with negative and positive really dont know what this man is all about

  • arthur ashe

    arthur miller is the man..

  • Stephanie m :)

    i agree with comment #33. just because you dont like what someone writes it doesnt mean its a waste. everyone has their likes and dislikes, and honestly i like his stories because they are different and i like different. :)

  • says

    so i pretty much had the time of my life reading through some of these comments.
    ha. im sure that the “older” people who enjoy miller’s work really appriciate what you guys are putting on the table here.
    hahahaha
    cause i do.

  • sharon

    arthur miller is an american master thats all need to be said

  • Brookiie

    I am a 15yr old H.S. student and I personally think Arthur Miller is an amazing playwright. Out of a list I chose him because I believe his work has so much meaning beneath it all. But I also understand the other students who do not like his work…I will admit Death of a Salesman was not my favorite but in the long shot it is completely worth it to bare through and make the best of it you can. I hope some people will notice this soon and stop bashing the poor man and the writers of this site…i think we can all agree that is is very helpful and insightful

  • guess what?

    Yes, he was an amazing playwright. His works were great. Woop dee doo. I’m pretty sure that myself and the other Juniors doing this boring biography on him just love reading the same thing over and over and over. So, yes, I understand and appreciate your thoughts “Brookiie”. You’re a what? Sophomore? Freshy? Either way, ENGLISH PROJECTS ARE EXTREMELY BORING.
    Thanks for your works Arthur, you’re great, too bad most teenagers like myself don’t give.

  • abomination generation

    I am a 16 year old high school student and I can safely say that my generation embarrasses me. Yes, you have to write a biography. You will compose, what, 2 drafts? Wow, I’m so sure that’s a huge deal for you. Have you any respect? Arthur Miller would compose a dozen or more drafts than you would. He was an amazing playwright and many people look up to him and his works. So basically what I am saying to my generation is suck it up, grow up, and realize that you are being extremely selfish and rude writing degrading and stupid things on this bulletin. You embarrass me, and for the people who do appreciate Arthur Miller I want to thank you.

  • anonymous

    work cited help please?

  • bobo

    i didnt kow he was married to marilyn monroe!!!!!!!

  • ghoststar

    for most of u who dislike his works, i say watch the movie version of the play DEATH OF A SALESMAN. watch the one with dustin hoffman. ill bet anything that most of u who dislike miller now will experience a dramatic change of heart. a play needs to be seen in action.

  • Frustrated Student

    Ok, this guy, he HAS to be the leading cause for narcolepsy. I understand his plays were some of the most influential of his time, but it doesn’t hold the same kind of place in common society. I don’t care if this sounds dude, but really?! Why do we have to do a project on him? It’d be easier and more worthy of the time one would spend writing a paper on someone that’s influential now, or better yet, someone who’s work hold place in time now. Someone like Shakespeare, he still holds common place. Or maybe someone like Terry Prattchet, or maybe J.K. Rolling and how you can take nothing and turn into one of the most recognized authors in the world. I really wish that we could opt to write and read about him and his plays. They’re honestly some of the driest reads I’ve ever had the displeasure to be force fed.

  • Woah!

    Any guy who can get Marilyn Monroe has got my respect. :)

  • RNF

    @Frustrated Student: Bravo, for stating your displeasure in complete and legible sentences! While I disagree with your assessment of Miller, you were not only literate but polite and respectful, and we could use more people like you on the boards.

    To me, all plays sound dry when I read them. Scripts kill my attention span more than other types of literature, for some reason. I agree with ghoststar,the measure of a play is its greatest performance.

  • peter

    dude! this website like totally rocks my socks!!!!! rock on!!

Salinger

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