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POST WWII AMERICAN DRAMA: T.WILLIAMS, A.MILLER ARTHUR MILLER (1915-2005) – prominent American playwright and essayist. Wrote dramas that include award-winning plays such as “All my Sons” ( conflict of responsibilities –Joe Keller’s responsibility to his family and that to wider society. He originally believes that he is justified in sending cracked cylinder heads and causing the deaths of 21 pilots, as this allowed his family to make money and allowed his son Chris to inherit the family business. THEME – ppl have a wider responsibility to the society in which they live ; criticism of the American dream – although Joe Keller’s not educated, he owns a factory, his quest for money leads to his responsibility for the deaths of 21 American pilots) “Death of a Salesman” – won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Attempts to raise a counterexample to Aristotle’s characterization of tragedy as the downfall of a great man. The play represents a democratization of the ancient form of tragedy; the play’s protagonist ( Willy Loman ) is himself obsessed with the question of greatness, and his downfall arises directly from his continued misconception of himself. although Miller and TW were shaped by the Great Depression, not by the WWII, they managed to move into the genre in the 40s. During the time of this greatest ordeal for the United States in the 20 th cen social aspirations, class presumptions, national myths suddenly became irrelevant, and that was what shaped them as playwrights. Miller wrote a series of protest plays in the 30s while TW worked with a radical theater company. This formed many of their assumptions, defined their themes and explains sth of
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This note was uploaded on 12/13/2011 for the course LITERATURE 105 taught by Professor Stevens during the Winter '11 term at Mitchell Community College.

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