The End Of Illusions Essay Research Paper

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The End Of Illusions Essay, Research Paper The end of illusionsMichael March: If you were a painter, how would you paint the 20th century? What colours would you use?Arthur Miller: Red, really, for the blood. I don’t think there’s any other time in history when so many were killed. Murdered by armies, by state forces, and so on. Look at the second world war. Look at Vietnam, Korea, Rwanda, the Balkans… We’re savages. Yet science has achieved incredible feats of imagination within shouting distance of the killing fields. The mind can’t absorb this; we’ve managed to put it aside. The movies get made and the rock music goes on, painters are painting pictures and I’m writing plays and everybody’s going around as though it’s OK. I don’t think it’s OK. I

really do think that there are plenty of motivations available to justify the destruction of this civilisation.MM: What are your feelings for this new century?AM: I can’t get rid of the idea that it is within the range of possibility for someone in a small boat to bring an atomic bomb into New York harbour, figuring he’s going to go straight to heaven. To me, this is possible. About 50 years ago this could not be thought, except by a lunatic. Certainly a maniac like Saddam Hussein is perfectly capable of justifying this act. You know, they’re messing around with Israel, which has atomic bombs. And the Israelis are not going to be destroyed before they destroy somebody else. We’re standing on the edge with India and Pakistan. In my plays I search for illumination, but

I’ve lost any illusion of safety. I’m not paranoid, it’s perfectly real. You have a billionaire at the end of the Arabian desert pouring money into training people to do this. The point is that they have an ideological and religious justification for the whole thing. So they’re as reasonable as we are.MM: Yasunari Kawabata, the Japanese writer, said that “the grave is a work of art”.AM: I know a couple in Connecticut who had bought a grave, a space, in a particular small cemetery up in the country, because they liked the view. And it was serious. They wanted the good view. My grandfather asked to be buried in one of the cemeteries in Brooklyn, jam-packed, very crowded, and he asked that he not be buried on the aisle, because he didn’t want people stepping over him

to get to where they were going. He would rather be off in a corner somewhere where nobody would be bothering him. What weird things we are.MM:What death would your salesman affect today?AM: First of all, Death of a Salesman is produced more now than it ever was, and people say it’s more reflective of reality now. In the old days the main character simply represented an extreme to which the majority was remotely connected: now it’s the majority. And, moreover, there’s an interesting thing here. One of the proposals of Mr Bush is that money be removed, billions of dollars, from the pension funds, to be invested in the stock market at the behest of the owners of such funds. So Bush would make gamblers out of everyone who had not yet tuned into this – people who simply

wanted to be reassured that they would not starve in their later years. They want to free up that money so that these people become investors, which is really a nice word for gambling. Now, in the last year the market has lost a substantial amount of its value. So what would have happened to all these people and their pensions if the government had already done this?MM: We travel from evil to power: forces that deprive man of his dignity and work, impoverished through this dream, through the illusion of wealth, a form of evil in the investment of power.AM: I agree with that. It’s what they’re doing or trying to do, it’s not yet been done, but it could very well happen. They’re trying to make unreal what at least had a certain amount of reality. This spreads unreality into