Born on the 17th of October, 1915, in New York, Miller’s early life was obviously shaped and inspired by the Great Depression, which ruined his father’s life and taught Arthur about the silly nature of mankind and how unsafe everything truly is. His first job was in a warehouse which he used to raise the money to study at the University of Michigan which is where and when he began to write his plays, first true success being ‘Focus’, a novel published in 1945. ‘All My Sons’ came soon after in 1947, a play that won Miller a Tony Award.
Miller’s most famous and notable work, however, was produced after these works. ‘Death of a Salesman’ was written in 1948 but produced in 1949, it was a culmination of inspirations and thoughts which stemmed back to Miller’s adolescence. It also won a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize for drama.
Miller then went on to author the play ‘The Crucible’ in 1953, which he used to bind the McCarthyism of the time to the Salem Witch Trials. It also won a Tony Award for best play. Miller was then brought before a committee called the ‘House Un-American Activities Committee’ but he stood his ground and refused to name people he met years before at a communist writers’ meeting. In 1955, Miller staged two new plays, ‘A Memory of Two Mondays’ and ‘A View from the Bridge’.
Miller also dabbled in screenwriting, writing the screenplay for ‘The Misfits’ for his second wife, Marilyn Monroe. Miller’s final play was produced in 2004 and is called ‘Finishing the Picture’.
All My Sons
In Joe and Kate Keller’s family garden, an apple tree – a memorial to their son Larry, lost in the Second World War – has been torn down by a storm. But his loss is not the only part of the family’s past they can’t put behind them. Not everybody’s forgotten the court case that put Joe’s partner in jail, or the cracked engine heads his factory produced which caused it and dropped twenty-one pilots out of the sky …