Arthur Miller Biography And The Crucible Overview

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Authors are not very well known until after their death. Many books or plays are based off on an author’s life. Many stories reflect the authors without them knowing about it. Most of the time we know more about the author than we think.

Arthur Asher Miller was born in Harlem, New York, on October 17, 1915 to Isidore and Augusta Miller. He was the second of three. His mother, Augusta, was a citizen from the united states. She was a teacher and novel reader. His father was an Austrian Jewish immigrant. He was a manufacturer of a women’s clothing business, employer of up to 800 employees. During the Great Depression, everything for the Miller’s was lost. The factory closed for good. They were forced to move out. It was a very hard time period for everyone. He became very upset with his father during this time. As for his father had become depressed for losing all their money. Arthur was forced to work as a bread deliverer before school to help at the house.

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Miller attended Abraham Lincoln High School, which he graduated in 1932. After high school he had to take several jobs to get enough money to pay for his tuition to attend the University of Michigan. Work during the Great Depression was very tough, hours were long, and the pay was not very good. Being able to have a job and keep it during time period was dedication. Kids back then were more mature than teens now. Teenagers now don’t want to work but do want to earn money. Back then it was hard work and dedication and one still would not get money for him/herself. He was able to have a job and still go to school to make something out of himself. He applied for both Cornel University and Michigan University and was not accepted at either one. He had decided to go back to work at the factory with his dad before it was shut down. After his second attempt to attend Michigan University he was finally accepted. (Walden, Daniel) While in college, he took courses with professor Kenneth Rowe. Rowe was a playwright as well. Walden Daniel said, “At the end of his sophomore, needing money badly, he wrote a play, Honors at Dawn., in four days for which he won the Avery Hopwood Award of $250. The next year his No Villain again won the Hopwood Prize.” (Walden, Daniel) It was in 1938 when Miller graduated MIchigan University. He worked for a while around that own. In 1940 he later married his college sweetheart. Miller was inspired by Rowe to return home and begin his career as playwright. His mother was also his inspiration. He was so close to her. Him and her bonded over their love about plays. It was with her when he joined his first play. She was an educator and he wanted to learn.

Although Miller was a great playwright, he wasn’t always that way. During his first years, he had a rough start. HIs first play on Broadway, “The Man Who Had All the Luck,” closed after the fourth performance. Three years later, after writing, “Focus,” another play was published, “All My Sons.” It was on Broadway a full year. It was this play that earned him his very first Tony Award for Best Author. Miller did not stop there, he continued to write more plays. Some took longer than others but were still accomplished. For example, “Death of Salesman,” Arthur wrote the first act all in one day.

Four years after marrying Mary Grace, they had their first kid, Jane Miller. In 1947, they had their second child, Robert. Miller and Mary Grace divorced in 1956. One month after this occurred, Miller married Hollywood actress, Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn was dating Elia Kazan at the time she met Arthur back in 1951at a Hollywood party. Kazan was the director of Miller’s, “All My Son’s” and “Death of a Salesman.” Arthur and Monroe became very good friends. The friendship only grew stronger and later developed into a relationship. They remained married for six years. In 1961they divorced, and one year later he married Inge Morath. It was with her whom he had two more kids, Daniel and Rebecca Miller.

Throughout his life he remained to write plays. In 1953 he wrote, “The Crucible,” in 1955, “A View from the Bridge,” in 1956, “A Memory of Two Mondays,” in 1964, “After the Fall, in 1965, “Incident at Vichy,” in 1968, “The Price,” in 1973, “The Creation of the World and Other Business,” in 1974, “The American Clock,” in 1976, “Up from Paradise,” in 1976, “The Archbishop’s Ceiling,” in 1990, “Everybody Wins,” in 1991, “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan,” in 1991, “The Last Yankee,” in 1995, “Broken Glass,” in 1999, “Mr. Peters’ Connections,” and lastly in 2002, “Resurrection Blues.” Although plays seem unimportant, they are a great impact on the author. Every play or story are written for a reason.

The Crucible was about witchcraft. Back in the day they believed to have had witches. They had witch hunters. Everyone could be a witch. The tone of the play was fear. Every was so scared to blame someone because they could die. Some people even became selfish to try and save themselves. They begin to lie and say their friend mom sister whoever is the witches. People were beginning to lie and try and make themselves look good so that they are trusted in case. Miller most likely wrote this because during this time period was when all the McCarthyism was going on. He believed he should write about all the gullible people. (Burt Daniel)

In this play, people were so old school that believed new things were caused by witchcraft. The play begins by some girls in the forest dancing. The reverend sees them, and he accuses them of it. Scared by the fear one of the girls goes into a coma-like sleep. (Abbotson) This is where everyone starts panicking and saying it’s from the witchcraft that she can’t wake up. During this time period it was very hard to prove things because of the lack of instruments.

Many authors go through so much in their life. None of us really know what they’re going through, but they attempt to explain it by writing plays and books about them. A play is a way for the author to release all their feelings. One doesn’t literally tell them, but they give clues. That’s the beauty of literature. 


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