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That Guy who Wrote The Crucible…. Arthur Miller Raised during the Great Depression in New York City Raised during the Great Depression in New York City.

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Presentation on theme: "That Guy who Wrote The Crucible…. Arthur Miller Raised during the Great Depression in New York City Raised during the Great Depression in New York City."— Presentation transcript:

1 That Guy who Wrote The Crucible…

2 Arthur Miller Raised during the Great Depression in New York City Raised during the Great Depression in New York City Born into a prosperous Jewish family Born into a prosperous Jewish family Graduated from the University of Michigan Graduated from the University of Michigan Ineligible for military service during WW2 because of football injury, so he toured army camps and wrote The Story of GI Joe Ineligible for military service during WW2 because of football injury, so he toured army camps and wrote The Story of GI Joe Won the Pulitzer in 1949 for The Death of a Salesman Won the Pulitzer in 1949 for The Death of a Salesman

3 Called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1956… we’ll talk about the connection between this and The Crucible Called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1956… we’ll talk about the connection between this and The Crucible Married Marilyn Monroe in 1956… divorced in 1961 Married Marilyn Monroe in 1956… divorced in 1961 Received the National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton in 1993 Received the National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton in 1993 Credited for writing 88 titles on IMDB Credited for writing 88 titles on IMDB Died February 2005 Died February 2005

4 What Wikipedia has to say about Miller’s legacy… “Miller's career as a writer spanned over seven decades, and at the time of his death, Miller was considered to be one of the greatest dramatists of the twentieth century. After his death, many respected actors, directors, and producers paid tribute to Miller, some calling him the last great practitioner of the American stage, and Broadway theatres darkened their lights in a show of respect. Miller's alma mater, the University of Michigan opened the Arthur Miller Theatre in March, As per his express wish, it is the only theatre in the world that bears Miller's name.” “Miller's career as a writer spanned over seven decades, and at the time of his death, Miller was considered to be one of the greatest dramatists of the twentieth century. After his death, many respected actors, directors, and producers paid tribute to Miller, some calling him the last great practitioner of the American stage, and Broadway theatres darkened their lights in a show of respect. Miller's alma mater, the University of Michigan opened the Arthur Miller Theatre in March, As per his express wish, it is the only theatre in the world that bears Miller's name.”

5 Why did Arthur Miller Write The Crucible? “It would probably never have occurred to me to write a play about the Salem witch trials of 1692 had I not seen some astonishing correspondences with that calamity in the America of the late 40s and early 50s. My basic need was to respond to a phenomenon which, with only small exaggeration, one could say paralysed a whole generation and in a short time dried up the habits of trust and toleration in public discourse. I refer to the anti-communist rage that threatened to reach hysterical proportions and sometimes did,” (Miller).

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7 “So in one sense The Crucible was an attempt to make life real again, palpable and structured. One hoped that a work of art might illuminate the tragic absurdities of an anterior work of art that was called reality…” (Miller).

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9 “But it is impossible to convey properly the fears that marked that period. Nobody was shot, to be sure, although some were going to jail, where at least one, William Remington, was murdered by an inmate hoping to shorten his sentence by having killed a communist. Rather than physical fear, it was a sense of impotence, which seemed to deepen with each week…” (Miller).

10 COMMUNIST CONTROL ACT (1954) Here are excerpts from the texts of the Communist Control Act of 1954: In determining membership or participation in the Communist party of in any other organization defined in this act, or knowledge of the purpose or objective of such party or organization, the jury, under instructions from the court, shall consider evidence, if presented, as to whether the accused person Has written, spoken, or in any other way communicated by signal, semaphore, sign, or in any other form of communication, orders, directives, or plans of the organization Has indicated by word, action, conduct, writing, or in any other way a willingness to carry out in any manner and to any degree the plans, designs, objectives, or purposes of the organization; … 13. Has in any other way participated in the activities, planning, actions, objectives, or purposes of the organization. (Taken from upenn.edu)

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12 “In 1956, the House Un-American Activities Committee (Huac) subpoenaed me – I was cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to identify writers I had met at one of the two communist writers’ meetings I had attended many years before. By then, the tide was going out for Huac and it was finding it more difficult to make front pages. However, the news of my forthcoming marriage to Marilyn Monroe was too tempting to be passed…Chairman Walters… sent word… that he would be inclined to cancel my hearing if Miss Monroe would consent to have a picture taken with him,” (Miller).


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