Arthur Miller

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Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman And The Crucible Essay, Research Paper Arthur Miller, winner of many literary and dramatic awards, is an incredibly influential force in American drama. His plays deal with issues common to every society. He makes the audience face fault, weakness, and ignorance; subjects we would typical hide from. At the same time he emphasizes strength, human spirit, and familial love. Alice Griffin believes that Miller’s plays are important internationally (xii). He belongs to an international theater rather than a regional theater (Heilman 170). His plays are staged and studied by students to understand American life in Russia, P and, Iceland, Brazil, Italy, France, Germany, Czech Republic, and China to name a few (Griffin xi). Miller’s works

thrived in England. The University of East Angelia named it’s center the Arthur Miller Centre (Griffin 1). They can relate to the sense f identity, honor, recognition, and familial love (Griffin Preface). In a production in Beijing, Miller explained to a Chinese actor playing Biff the son’s feelings of guilt and “painfully requited” love for his father, the actor understood as it is v y Chinese (Morath 79). The phenomenon of Death of a Salesman has been the same all over the world. Audiences all have a sense of their life story of their father, uncle, or brother (Griffin 35). In real life Miller had an Uncle Manny who had two sons ho were in competition with Miller and his brother. Manny ended his own life because he failed at business. Miller’s personal history is

demonstrated in his sensitive and passionate writing in Death of a Salesman (Griffin 41). The Crucible (1952) was originally intended to be called Those Familiar Spirits, referring to a spirit that a witch presumably sends out to torment her victims. However, the well area at the bottom of a blast furnace is known as the crucible, it is whe the molten steels collects being entirely broken down due to immense heat. Miller thought that this was a precise metaphor for what happened in Salem. Crucible also means a harsh trial or examination. John Proctor’s integrity was surely investigated. He chose to die instead of confessing to being evil. According to Raymond Williams, The Crucible is a powerfully successful dramatization of the notorious witch trials of Salem. It is

technically less interesting than its previous ones because it is b ed on a historical event which is explicit enough to solve, the difficult dramatic problems which Miller had originally set himself. Miller brilliantly expresses a particular crisis “the modern witch hunt” in his own society, but it is not often, in ou own world, that the issues and statements so clearly emerge in a naturally dramatic form (13). Miller used the Salem Witch Trials of the 17th century, to make an indirect, but assertive comment upon McCarthyism in American life (Richard Watt, Jr. 536). In 1953, when the play was produced, the United States was in social and political turmoil. Joseph McCarthy a Senator from Wisconsin and the play in comparison were both significantly politically infamous. The

Senator was responsible for the investiga ons to find communists in the State Department, Hollywood, and the U.S. Army. These investigations created fear and suspicion within our society. McCarthy was eventually found guilty of misusing his authority (Watts vii). Before being found guilty S ator McCarthy accused the Democratic administration of sheltering and helping Communists in the American government. It was a fearful time similar to that in Salem. The United States government called McCarthy’s activities witch-hunts. In The Crucibl Miller mentions that McCarthy accuses individuals of being Communist if they opposed him. Any government official who criticized his hearings was soon found to be defending himself against the charge of being involved in a Communist conspiracy.