Arthur Miller: Biography
Arthur Asher Miller was an American playwright, essayist and author. He was a prominent figure in American literature and cinema for over 61 years, writing a wide variety of plays. Miller's best-known works were The Crucible and Death of a Salesman, which are still widely studied and performed. He was also known for his short-lived marriage to Marilyn Monroe (1956-1961), who converted to Judaism for him.Miller was born into a lower-income Jewish family New York. His father was a clothing manufacturer. His mother was a housewife and schoolteacher.
He graduated from the University of Michigan, where he began to write plays. His first MAN WHO HAD ALL THE LUCK was followed by a nondramatic work of reportage, SITUATION NORMAL about military life at army bases.He studied journalism and drama at University of Michigan, particularly interested in ancient Green drama and the dramas of Henrik Ibsen. He retained strong ties to his alma mater throughout the rest of his life, establishing the Arthur Miller Award in 1985 and A.M. Award for Dramatic Writing in 1999.The University also honored him with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 1956.
Bibliography DEATH OF A SALESMAN (1949, Pulitzer Prize) is a drama of an average businessman who faces alienation within society and his family as well. It is a bitter condemnation of the capitalist system. Miller is merciless in his exposure of hypocrisy and corruption. THE CRUCIBLE (1953) treats Salem witch trialsAFTER THE FALL (1964)A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE (Pulitzer Prize)ALL MY SONSINCIDENT AT VICHY THE PRICETHE AMERICAN CLOCKThe basic premise of the plays is that the society is an image-making machine, a purveyor of myths and prejudices, which provide the false faces and false values which modern man wears.In his plays, Miller has moved from the creation of character to the making of statements, from the concrete to the abstract. Upon the whole, the playwright has often explored the problem of balancing the rights of the individual against the necessities of a social organization, the problem of human values and moral responsibility.