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Miller turns, for his setting, to the grim days of the Salem witch trials, and brings into focus an issue that still weighs heavily on the American civilization: the problem of guilt by association. Historical fiction.
From Arthur Miller, America's most celebrated playwright, a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria, inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist "witch-hunts" in the 1950s "I believe that the reader will discover here the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history," Arthur Miller wrote in an introduction to The Crucible , his classic play about the witch-hunts and trials in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts. In the rigid theocracy of Salem, rumors that women are practicing witchcraft galvanize the town's most basic fears and suspicions; and when a young girl accuses Elizabeth Proctor of being a witch, self-righteous church leaders and townspeople insist that Elizabeth be brought to trial. The ruthlessness of the prosecutors and the eagerness of neighbor to testify against neighbor brilliantly illuminate the destructive power of socially sanctioned violence. Written in 1953, just after Miller received a Pulitzer Prize for Death of a Salesman, The Crucible mirrors the anti-communist hysteria inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy's "witch-hunts" in the United States. Within the text itself, Miller contemplates the parallels, writing "Political opposition. . . is given an inhumane overlay, which then justifies the abrogation of all normally applied customs of civilized behavior. A political policy is equated with moral right, and opposition to it with diabolical malevolence. " .
Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning play that forever changed the meaning of the American Dream Willy Loman, the protagonist of Death of a Salesman, has spent his life following the American way, living out his belief in salesmanship as a way to reinvent himself. But somehow the riches and respect he covets have eluded him. At age sixty-three, he searches for the moment his life took a wrong turn, the moment of betrayal that undermined his marriage and destroyed his relationship with Biff, the son in whom he invested his faith. Willy lives in a fragile world of elaborate excuses and daydreams, conflating past and present in a desperate attempt to make sense of himself and of a world that once promised so much. Widely considered Arthur Miller's masterpiece, Death of a Salesman has steadily seen productions all over the world since its 1949 debut, including the multiple Tony-award-winning 2012 Broadway production directed by Mike Nichols and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman and Andrew Garfield as his son Biff. As the noted Miller scholar Christopher Bigsby states in his introduction to this edition, "If Willy's is an American dream, it is also a dream shared by all those who are aware of the gap between what they might have been and what they are. " .
Lawrence Newman is an ordinary man living in an ordinary neighborhood. He just wants to lead a quiet life; the possibility of violence against others such as the Jewish candy store owner on the corner may excite him but he would rather be an observer than a participant. Then he gets a new pair of glasses, and his troubles begin. suddenly he looks Jewish and people in his neighborhood and at his office start looking at him differently. Aafter he finds love with a woman who also looks Jewish but is not, things become more complicated and more frightening. Newman used to be tolerated if not totally endorsed by the members of the "christian front" who live in his block. Now they begin to regard him the same way they do finkelstein who owns the candy store. Instead of being one of the crowd, Newman has become an alien. What can he do to deny the false label of Jew? Or should he deny it? and this is the crux of this brilliant, wrenching novel. As Newman's visual focus changes with the new glasses, his mental focus also undergoes a change. He begins to question his own prejudices and values. His fear of danger and his need to belong clash with his growing uneasiness about the moral stand of the people he has hitherto admired, and he finds that the choices he makes will affect his life and his hope for love and happiness. This story takes place in 1945 but it is just as powerful and relevant today.
America's greatest playwright weaves "a vivid, crackling, idiomatic psychosexual horror tale. " -Frank Rich, The New York Times In A View from the Bridge Arthur Miller explores the intersection between one man's self-delusion and the brutal trajectory of fate. Eddie Carbone is a Brooklyn longshoreman, a hard-working man whose life has been soothingly predictable. He hasn't counted on the arrival of two of his wife's relatives, illegal immigrants from Italy; nor has he recognized his true feelings for his beautiful niece, Catherine. And in due course, what Eddie doesn't know-about her, about life, about his own heart-will have devastating consequences. "The play has moments of intense power. . . . Miller plays on the audience with the skill of a master. " -Clive Barnes, New York Post .
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