Arthur Miller's The Crucible: Fact & Fiction, by Margo …

Arthur Miller's The Crucible: Fact & Fiction (or Picky, Picky, Picky ..

In April of 2004 Arthur Miller, a loyal alumnus, made the last of many visits to the University of Michigan. Students had prepared a performance of scenes from his plays for the occasion, and Miller visited a rehearsal and spoke with them about their work. He conferred with administrators about plans to build the Arthur Miller Theatre on campus, a project that has reached completion and is scheduled to open next season with a production of . During his visit Mark Lamos, who had directed Miller’s work in the past, hosted a symposium for the author at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. The following transcript of their conversation was prepared by Ayelet Ammitay of the staff.

...ARTHUR MILLER Arthur Asher Miller (October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005) was an American playwright and essayist. He was a prominent figure in American theatre, writing dramas that include plays such as All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953) and A View from the Bridge (1955) Arthur Miller's Childhood: His father was a productive shop-keeper and clothing manufacturer, until the Great Depression dried up virtually all business opportunities. Yet, despite being faced with poverty, Miller made the best of his childhood. He was a very active young man, in love with such sports as football and baseball. College Bound: In 1934, Miller left the east coast to attend the University of Michigan. He was accepted into their school of journalism. His experiences during the depression made him skeptical towards religion. Politically, he began leaning towards the "Left." And since the theater was the cutting edge way for socio-economic liberals to express their views, he decided to enter the Hopwood Drama competition. His first play, No Villain, received an award from the University. It was an impressive beginning for the young playwright: he had never studied plays or playwriting, and he had written his script in just five days! Broadway Bound: After graduation, he continued writing plays. During World War II, his writing career gradually became more successful. In 1940 he crafted The Man Who Had All the Luck. It arrived on Broadway in 1944...

...Arthur Miller was born in Harlem, New York on October 17th, 1915. He was raised in a moderate household, but lost everything during the Wall Street Crash in 1929. After the crash, he and his family moved to Brooklyn. Arthur worked through his troubles so that he could attend college at the University of Michigan. In college he wrote for the student paper and was in the play called, No Villain. Miller was inspired by one of his professors named, Kenneth Rowe. He was inspired by his approach of playwriting, and wanted to begin his career. He wrote the play, The Man Who Had All The Luck. This play closed after only four performances into the season because of terrible reviews, but six years later, he wrote the play All My Sons, which was a tremendous achievement for him, and achieved the tony award for it. He had many other achievements as well. He wrote the story “Death of A Salesmen,” in less than one day, and was loved by so many people in the theatre. This play won many different awards. Miller married Marilyn Monroe, who starred in the screenplay called “The Misfits,” After leaving his first wife, Mary Slattery. However, in 1961 miller and Monroe were divorced. Lastly he married another woman who was a photographer from Austria. Her name was Inges Morath. They had two children together named Rebecca and Daniel. Daniel had Down syndrome. Miller wanted nothing to do with his son, and asked that he be excluded from the family’s personal life. One of the main stories that......

Arthur Miller's The Crucible: Fact & Fiction, by Margo Burns

It is perceived throughout literature that characters within a novel are solely prompted by personal interests. Yet, we learn that they are sometimes driven throughout the work ascertaining a purpose larger than themselves. Whether it is an author’s use of literary elements (such as dialogue, characterization, or conflict) or even in their craft alone, it is inevitable in the two classic works: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and The Crucible by Arthur Miller. In The Grapes of Wrath, we discover an unavoidable change in the character Rose of Sharon. When we are first introduced to Rose of Sharon, she is exceedingly dependent on her husband and primarily concerned about the well-being of her child. Yet as the novel progresses, Steinbeck innovates Rose of Sharon into a seemingly new character. This is also present with The Crucible’s John Proctor. He begins absent-minded, careless, and only uneasy about keeping his affairs with Abigail Williams silent. However, Arthur Miller worked to evolve Proctor’s character with his use of conflict, irony, and a creative mind-set.

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When the movie was released 1996, Miller published an article in the , discussing "Why I Wrote The Crucible", in which he describes, over four decades after writing the play, what he remembered of his process with the material. He began by stating that he had read : "[I]t was not until I read a book published in 1867 - a two-volume, thousand-page study by Charles W. Upham, who was then the mayor of Salem - that I knew I had to write about the period." It was in Upham's work that Miller encountered the description of a single gesture that inspired him:

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Another example of this fictionalization of this research can be found in Miller's article , published in The Guardian/The Observer (on line), on Saturday, June 17, 2000. He wrote, "I can't recall if it was the provincial governor's nephew or son who, with a college friend, came from Boston to watch the strange proceedings. Both boys burst out laughing at some absurd testimony: they were promptly jailed, and faced possible hanging." As delightfully ironic as this sounds, again, it is simply fabricated, although whether by Miller himself or from some secondary source he may have read - he states in this article that he had read Marion Starkey's book, (1949), for instance - but there is simply nothing even remotely like this mentioned in the primary sources.

Purporting to provide a "reference guide to Miller's life and works for both classroom and individual use," this 18th title in the "Critical Companion" series is divided into four parts: "Biography," "Works," "Related Entries," and "Appendixes." Abbotson (literature, Rhode Island Coll.; ) addresses biographical information in a 22-page essay; the approximately 375 dictionary-style entries in Parts 2 ("Works") and 3 ("Related Entries") range in length from two paragraphs (e.g., "University of East Anglia") to 15 pages (e.g., "After the Fall (1964)"). The individual title entries in Part 2 provide a synopsis of the work, critical commentary and discussion of initial reviews, cast information on the play's first performance, and character identification. Entries in Part 3 cover genre (e.g., absurdism), concepts (e.g., anti-Semitism), and people, places, and things (e.g., ). Approximately half of the entries in Parts 2 and 3 contain a short bibliography of suggested readings. The appendixes comprise three bibliographies (selected works, interviews with the playwright, and secondary resources), a chronology, and the index. Cross-references appear within the text but not in the index, and a few black-and-white photos are scattered throughout. Despite Miller's having died in 2005, the chronology extends through 2007 to account for relevant posthumous events (e.g., the inaugural production of ) and publications.
—Laurie Selwyn

Meaning And Symbolism In The Crucible By Arthur Miller Essays, Meaning And Symbolism In The Crucible By Arthur Miller PAPERS, ..

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Actually, "The Crucible" is three things. Its also a terrific play that takes you right to the core of the emotions that motivated Salems accusers and its accused. And why not? Its playwright, Arthur Miller, had his own run-in with a modern-day version of the witch trials—an episode with the American government that left him feeling a lot like his protagonist, John Proctor. Say what? Dive into the album to find out more.

The corrupting influence of women on men is a theme that creeps into many high school reading lists. There are many offenders, titles that I'd successfully minimized in my teaching, including Arthur Miller's plays The Crucible and Death of a Salesman, and Ken Kesey's novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. In Miller's plays, women are rarely portrayed as anything but passive wives or destructive sluts. Kesey's most well-known work similarly portrays women, like the infamous Nurse Ratched, as predators bent on destroying men's spirits. In discussions, many of my colleagues downplayed the sexism, argued that the female roles are metaphors, or insisted that the other themes in these novels and plays have so much socially redeeming value they are still worth teaching. After all, Arthur Miller takes on McCarthyism in The Crucible, the myth of the American Dream in Death of a Salesman. These are classics of American literature, classroom staples, and indispensable texts for many high school English teachers. Who was I to even suggest that we stop teaching them?