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Arthur Miller


Born in New York (1915) to a poor Jewish family eventually ruined by ... In 1956, he married Marilyn Monroe. They divorced in 1961. Eugene Shapsyuk IDC1001H ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller
Baruch College
One of Americas most prominent and respected
authors and playwrights.
8.17.1915 - 2.10.2005
If I have any justification for having lived,
it's simply, I'm nothing but faults, failures and
so on, but I have tried to make a good pair of
shoes. There's some value in that.
Who He Was
  • Born in New York (1915) to a poor Jewish family
    eventually ruined by the Great Depression.
  • Spent his childhood as a normal kid, playing
    sports, reading books, and also reading the
    Hearst newspapers.
  • After having read Dostoevskys The Brothers
    Karamazov, he decided to become a writer.
  • He matriculated at U Michigan in 1934 to study
    journalism. He won awards for playwriting during
    his four years there.

Miller - The man who had all the luck."
Who He Was (Continued)
  • After graduating Michigan, Miller returned to New
    York and joined the Federal Theater Project,
    writing scripts for radio programs. He was exempt
    from the draft because of a football injury.
  • He married his college sweetheart and his first
    Broadway show closed after four shows.
  • In 1947, he produced All My Sons, one of his most
    famous works about a factory owner who sells
    faulty aircraft parts during World War II. It won
    two Tony Awards. Miller was obviously influenced
    by the War in writing this novel. He even
    collected background material from visits to Army
    camps in 1944 for the screenplay of another one
    of his plays (The Story of GI Joe), and wrote
    about anti-Semitism in another play (Focus).

Who He Was (Continued)
  • In 1949, he became internationally famous with
    Death of a Salesman. The play relates the tragic
    story of a salesman, Willy Loman, whose life is
    eventually ruined because of the postwar economic
    boom, causing him to commit suicide.
  • However, in the 1950s, Miller was suspected of
    being a communist. Although he had attended a few
    meetings sponsored by the Communist Party in the
    early 40s, he was not a communist.
  • This influenced him to write his most
    recognizable and reprinted works, The Crucible a
    play about the persecution of witches in Salem,
    MA, in the 1690s, which stood as an allegory for
    the 1950s. Millers real life experiences can be
    seen as almost exactly the same as the
    protagonists in the novel.
  • In 1956, he married Marilyn Monroe. They divorced
    in 1961.

Who He Was (Continued)
  • Miller remained politically active throughout his
    life and was even a delegate for Eugene McCarthy.
    However, in his later years he still kept writing
    more plays.
  • In the 1990s, Miller noted that it was
    increasingly hard to be a playwright because it
    was becoming harder and harder to obtain new
    actors. He claimed that all of the good ones were
    attracted to the high salaries offered to them
    through television or film.
  • Miller died of heart failure at his home in
    Connecticut on February 10, 2005.

A play is made by sensing how the forces in life
simulate ignorance-you set free the concealed
irony, the deadly joke. --Arthur Miller
His Works Influences
  • Miller was influenced by the physical,
    historical, political, and social environments
    around him.
  • Through his works, one can see inspiration from
    his poor upbringings as a child of the
    Depression, an American during the postwar boom
    of the 1950s, and a citizen of the US suspected
    of communism during the Cold War.

It is also important to note that his plays often
depict how families are destroyed by false
values. Additionally, Miller combined in his
works social awareness with deep insights into
the personal weaknesses of his characters.
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