Arthur Miller - Arthur Miller: His influence in literature...

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Arthur Miller: His influence in literature and society Tinuke Omolara June 3, 2005 English II Mr. Meginness
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Arthur Miller is a prominent author who is famous for his plays during the twentieth century. Recognized for works like The Crucible and Death of a Salesman , he changed American literature. As a result, many of his plays are continually used on stage and in television. Through his life, beliefs and influences, Arthur Miller brought these pieces alive to enlighten Americans’ awareness of society. Arthur Miller was born October 17, 1915 to a prosperous Polish-Jewish family in Harlem. His father, Isadore Miller, was a successful clothing manufacturer, and his mother was a schoolteacher who loved reading. Miller had an older brother, Kermit, and a younger sister Joan. His siblings and parents were used in his works. For example, his brother was fictionalized as the eldest son in several of his plays, his sister, who took the stage name “Joan Copeland” was an actress and appeared in her brother’s works; and his father was depicted as a failing father-figure, playing significant roles in most of his plays. (Parry, A- 3) In 1929, the economic crash of the Great Depression ruined Miller’s father’s business. Miller and his family were forced to move to a suburb a neighborhood in Brooklyn. Born into a wealthy home and then moving to a poor neighborhood, Miller was molded by his new poverty and his experiences as a young man living in the Depression affected him. Isadore eventually bounced back as a hat manufacturer but never attained his prior success. Living through the beginning stages of his newfound poverty, Miller concluded that society during the Great Depression was a failed system. (Rosefeldt, D-2) The events of failure and success led him to relate an individual’s work, and the consequences of success or the lack thereof in his plays. (Parry, A-5)
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Miller attended P.S. 24 in Harlem from 1920 to 1928 and went to Lincoln High School in Brooklyn. In high school, Arthur Miller considered himself to be more of an athlete than a scholar. He spent his childhood playing football, baseball, and reading adventure stories, but he was a mediocre student in school. Because of his unresponsive sentiment for schoolwork Miller was rejected from Cornell University and University of Michigan. Upon graduating from high school, he worked for his father, performing a few odd jobs and then finding a job in an automobile parts warehouse. Miller became an avid reader during this period of his life. The turning point of these years was when he read Fyodor Dostoevski’s Bratya Karamazovy (1879, The Brothers Karamazov ) (Shuman, B- 4) . Miller was inspired to become a writer because he was impressed by Dostoevski’s work, a novel that focused on a failed father, sibling rivalry and trial motif. This encouraged him to put thirteen of his weekly fifteen-dollar paycheck into a college fund. He reapplied to University of Michigan, where he was accepted in 1934. (Shuman, B-6)
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Arthur Miller - Arthur Miller: His influence in literature...

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