Annotaded Bibliography:


Brand, “Madeleine Remembering Arthur Miller”:This storyline was written the day after Miller died, and says that Miller was most known for his story “Death of a Salesman”. Miller was 89 years old when he died. Again, the article talks about how Miller was the child of Polish immigrants, his family lived in a penthouse in New York with and made a very comfortable living. During the depression they lost everything, and again, the depression helped form Arthur’s way to write. He majored in journalism on the University of Michigan, and later married his college sweetheart and they had two kids together.Death of a Salesman is one of the most honored plays in history, and it won a bunch of awards. Many critics saw Miller represent the “American Dream” in the story. It was the first play Miller wrote that made it to Broadway. At the time, Miller was actually blacklisted for being looked at as un-American. “The Crucible” was looked upon by the Americans as exposing the communist scare. It is one of the most produced plays in the world, and is about the witch hunt trials in the 1600s. After he wrote the play, he became a Hollywood screenwriter, and married Monroe shortly after. Miller continued writing in his older years, and was widely acknowledged as America’s most important playwright. His work has been produced in many different languages all across the globe. Interesting article that basically summed up all the things I have learned about Miller while working on this project. I’m glad I chose a book from the most important playwright in the world, because there is so much information about him. It makes “Death of a Salesman” even more interesting to read since it was the biggest plays ever made.

Carson, Neil “Miller, Arthur”This is an article written by Neil Carson written as literature criticism about Arthur Miller’s work. It starts off by telling us about Miller’s story, born and raised in Harlem and Brooklyn. This article also talks about how the Great Depression in 1929 influenced his imagination; life had hidden laws that the artist must probe and learn. He later attended the University of Michigan and dreamed of becoming a writer. He became determined about the career and was more into theatre than writing novels. Miller’s works gave him financial security, but also made him a more visible target for critics. This article also talks about how Miller was accused for being a communist, but they never found solid proof that he was, and how he had to appear as a witness before the House Committee. Arthur divorced his first wife to marry the one and only Marilyn Monroe, and this meant his public career deeply affected his private life. They were sealed inside their home due to the press, and the new environment and his wife’s career made it hard for Arthur to write for the stage. In this period, he wrote lots of short stories. After 9 years of a break, Arthur went back to stage work and wrote numerous masterpieces. Arthur’s work would be characterized as his exploration of the relationship between public and private morality. He wrote his stories as an outsider, and tried to resist stereotypes and prejudice. This article is an excellent biography of Arthur Miller, and I feel like I got a lot more useful information in this one than the other. Of course there is lot information that isn’t necessary and it repeats itself from time and time. I think this is a great article for both a biography and literature criticism since it also discusses Miller’s work.

Caute, David “The Millers Tale”:The article talks about Arthur Miller’s life, and I find it very informative. Arthur Miller was born in 1915 in Jewish Harlem, a son of immigrants who were wealthy until his father’s business collapsed. His political outlook was formed by the Depression, Spanish Civil War, Cold War and the truth about Stalinism.Even though Miller was tall, strong and wanted to join the Navy, he was never conscripted to WW2 due to a weakened wrist after an injury. His older brother then dropped out of university to help his family business and therefore allowing Arthur to use his scholarship for the University of Michigan. Arthur loved his older brother, which he shines through in the book All My Sons in the character of Chris. Apparently, Arthur joined the Pro-Communist American Labor Party according to his FBI-file, but Bigsby claims he never joined it.The article also talks about Miller`s work where Death of a Salesman was his greatest Broadway success. Other great stories he wrote was All My Sons and The Crucible. The Crucible (set in Massachusetts 1692) created hysteria of which witches actually existed or not, but it did awaken the awareness of Communism. The article also gives us information about Miller’s marriage to Marilyn Monroe. I think the article provides us with useful information about Arthur Miller’s life and accomplishments, but when it talks about his work I think it gets a little messy. I definitely feel like I learned more about Miller himself than of his books/plays, but it helped me with my research since I learned more about the author.

Evans, Lloyd “Business Proposition”This is an article about how Miller worked as a comedian, which was as it seems, not his strongest side. Of course he’s always been intrigued by humor, but in Lloyd Evans eyes (author of article) “Resurrection Blues” is one of the silliest plays Miller has ever written. Evans says that the story could have turned out a lot better if Arthur’s heart was in it too; apparently it is missing a lot its defining qualities. The plot is just not funny enough, and very illogical. The role casting was not its best either, as even the audience seemed to notice. Arthur did not his moral passion in this story, and it is indeed very noticeable with both audience and literary critics. The story seems to be illogical in the way that if America was put in the situation the story says, that would never happen. It is just out of synch with current affairs happening in the world (2006). The more “inexperienced” theatre visitors may enjoy the play a lot on the other hand. The author writes about the gentlemen in front of him talking about what a great play it was and how they were having a good time. He comes with the argument that states that the audience does not care what they are watching as long as they get to see big stars. My thoughts of this article is that it had very little to do with Miller himself as an author, but taught me more about Lloyd’s night out as he tells about the theatre he was in and the poor choice of actors. I did still feel like it had some useful information about Arthur’s comedy skills, which were showed to be not his best side.
Maierhofe, Waltraud “Another play on Salem witch trials”This article is about The Crucible, one of the most famous works by Miller, and it starts of by stating that Arthur wrote the story after being influenced by The Devil in Massachusetts (1949) that is a historical study about the witch trials. The article also tells us about Feuchtwanger wrote a play (in German) about the trials before Miller, but Miller’s The Crucible was published and performed on Broadway the same year, 1953. Apparently it is stated that Miller’s central impulse on the story was not a social phenomenon whereas Feuchtwanger brought out the social dynamics of dogmatism, fanaticism, and paranoia. These authors are compared a lot through the entire article, it gets a little confusing. What I like about this article is that it richly provides us with information about the Salem witch trials. They are among the best documented trials in the history and is well known world over. Whereas Miller sticked more to the facts, Feuchtwanger switched out names and the age of the characters in his story. My final opinion about this article is that it is very rich in information, maybe even more than I would need to know, but it is just too long and has too much non useful information.

Meyers, Jeffery “Arthur Miller’s Outtakes”This is an interview with Miller and I’m using it as a biography. Miller is a careful reader, good editor and wants to present a positive image of himself. Of course he chose to keep silent about things that could hurt his friends and enemies, but these comments could strengthen the chapter, says the author of this article. This is a very open and honest interview and reveals more things after Miller’s death. Miller decided to stay quiet about his marriage to Marilyn Monroe, but speaks more openly about his previous marriages. He does on the other hand; mention Monroe’s involvement to the Kennedy’s. Arthur spoke of his work in a very fascinating way. He spoke of themes, staging, films of his stories and plays. He gave the real story behind the pieces he has written. Miller showed a lot of anger to the people who’d exploited Marilyn. He was angry and disgusted with people who took advantage of her. Arthur was also cautious when discussing homosexuality in theater, and had to hide his work when he wrote about it; he had had to find his way into a heterosexual world from the suppressed homosexual one while writing.I think the article gives us a bigger perspective about Arthur’s own opinions and how he was as a person. The article itself is really hard to read since a lot of it was “blanked out” since it wasn’t something Arthur wanted to share with the whole world. That way I felt like I missed half of the article. But it is an interesting and humorous article and it was helpful at some point!

Morley, Outwin & Sheridan, Dennis “Miller’s Genius”The article is called “Miller’s Genius” is about how Arthur Miller was the greatest dramatist of the time period he wrote in. It talks a little about how Miller has been accused of being anti-American and remotely unpatriotic. He simply did not care about how his own country was being run. More people have tried to write plays about the witch trials, but the authors say to just let them; nobody is going to write it better than Miller. During the 50’s and the McCarthy hysteria, Miller was almost imprisoned for holding back information. Although he did attack the society in some ways, it doesn’t really count as a big crime here in the western nations. Many other writers from that time were also said to being anti-American, some even admitted to adore Hitler and Stalin, and others were anti-Semitic. But a lot of people’s lives were influenced by these figures, and luckily not by admiring them. Compared to this, you can’t say much about Miller. He is a pretty decent fellow, and it’s time for Americans to start producing good plays again. As this article says, the writers from this time were heavily influenced from the circumstances around them, and all the wars that were happening at the time. Figures like Hitler and Stalin may have influenced people, and inspired them to write. This was not the best article, and it was very short, but for its length I think I got some useful information.

Murray, Edward “Arthur Miller, Dramatist”The article starts with discussing “All My Sons” by saying that the structure is tight. Murray claims that Miller needed every step in “All My Sons” to be carefully calculated. That opens questions on which it could not have been made in a “not so long and slightly boring way”. Murray comments that “about the first half of the opening act is merely introductory in nature”. Then Murray discusses “Death of a Salesman” (my book!) by saying it is highly integrated. The action rises smoothly, steadily and convincingly. The play has no hidden tricks, and the use of irony in the play proves how Miller has grown more sophisticated and restrained. He also discusses some of the characters in the book, asking if the system is to blame for “Willy’s” fate, or of it’s a flaw in his characteristics. Few people is said to think that “Willy’s” success is due to how well liked he is. He also talks about the criticism of thematic unity in Salesman, saying it has an “either/or” thinking. Miller is often “attacked” to trying too hard to prove the theme, but in “Death of a Salesman” he has been attacked for being “too realistic”. But Miller has apparently done a great job integrating the personal and social in the play. Salesman apparently gives questions about human values etc. I focused mostly on the book I was assigned on this article, “Death of a Salesman”. I feel like I should read the book before I can “criticize” the book myself, but I did find this article helpful. I feel like the article taught me how Arthur grew as an author when he wrote the book/play, and the story is apparently been said to be too realistic.
Rosinger, Lawrence “Miller’s Death of a Salesman”:This article discusses allusions to classical drama and mythology that is in the book. The book uses an older type of drama since it uses a person’s status instead of a person itself. Arthur proves that tragedies do not necessarily have to be based on Aristotelian principles. He also uses a lot of classical mythology in the book by using old language and emphasis, and by going by Aristotelian principles at certain points in the story. He uses this effect to encourage in the theatre or studies. The book also has some quality ironic humor in it too, and it is very obvious that Miller was influenced by classical references while writing the story. The play has literary words in it which are stage directions so that the author speaks directly to the actor or readers. The play also echoes to Shakespearean comedy, and refers to parenthetical numbers.The article was too useless for me to be honest. I read it three times, but still don’t feel like it had a lot of useful information. I don’t feel like I know more about the book now, except from the principals Arthur used to make it. It has too much difficult language and it’s just too short. But I did learn that the book was quite unique and different, and that is a good point.

Schissel, Wendy “(Re)Discovering the Witches in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible: A Feminist Reading:In this article, we read about Schissel’s feminist reading of The Crucible, and discusses Abigail’s fate, Elizabeth’s confession and John’s temptation and death. The first thing Wendy says about The Crucible is that it’s a disturbing work. She claims it reinforces stereotypes about cold and unforgiving wives, and treats women disrespectfully. She says that people tend to take John Proctor’s side by just saying he was ‘humanly tempted’ when he committed adultery, and that he is looked upon as the hero of the story. But nobody seems to look at it from Elizabeth’s side, how she actually lied for her husband to court, who cheated on her in the first place. Wendy thinks Arthur makes the girls in the story look as he they have inherited Eve’s sin, and their body is their reminder. She thinks that Arthur’s writings show his fear for wicked, angry and wise women. She compares The Crucible with other plays written by Arthur, and says he’s created a “stereotype” for women, with women as liars, schemer and sealing the fate of a man that is the hero. My reaction to this article is that I think Wendy forgets a very essential part of the story; it’s from the 1600s. Women were most definitely not treated with equal rights as men. For the story to seem realistic, Arthur couldn’t give the women in the story too much “power”, because they didn’t have the same rights as men. I can’t say I learned a lot from the article, but I learned more about the characters from The Crucible.