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THE STORY: Brooklyn, New York. The end of November, 1938. Sylvia Gellberg has suddenly, mysteriously, become paralyzed from the waist down. As the play opens, her husband, Phillip, and her doctor, Dr. Hyman, meet to discuss the prognosis and test results. The doctor assures Phillip that physically, there is nothing wrong with his wife and that she is sane, but advises the only way to discover the cause of her paralysis is to probe into her psyche. At this point, the author begins to peel away all the layers of the characters' lives in this stunning, deeply effective exploration of what it means to be American and Jewish in 1938. In his attempts to uncover the truth about Sylvia's paralysis, Dr. Hyman, via conversations with Phillip, Sylvia, and her sister, Harriet, discovers that the Gellberg's marriage was built on resentment and that over the years has become loveless. While Sylvia's affliction leaves her terrified, it exposes Phillip's deepest emotions. He hates himself, and he loathes being Jewish. His self-hatred has always made him cold, and at times even cruel, yet, Sylvia's condition has magnified his feelings leaving him out of control with her, with Dr. Hyman and even with his employers. Dr. Hyman's obsessive determination to cure Sylvia leads him to discover that her paralysis occurred quickly after a newspaper report on Krystallnacht and an accompanying photograph of two old men forced to clean the streets of Germany with toothbrushes. She feels something must be done to stop the Nazis while most Americans believe the Germans won't allow them to get out of hand. But what can she do when she can't even change her own life? The atrocities in Germany, her husband's denial of his Jewishness and her own realization that she threw her life away have overcome her. Suddenly, she no longer simply feels helpless, she has truly become helpless. Finally, with everyone's feelings laid bare, the play comes to its heart-wrenching, electrifying conclusion, as Phillip has a heart attack and begs Sylvia's forgiveness as he dies.
A haunting examination of groupthink and mass hysteria in a rural community The place is Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, an enclave of rigid piety huddled on the edge of a wilderness. Its inhabitants believe unquestioningly in their own sanctity. But in Arthur Miller's edgy masterpiece, that very belief will have poisonous consequences when a vengeful teenager accuses a rival of witchcraft--and then when those accusations multiply to consume the entire village.First produced in 1953, at a time when America was convulsed by a new epidemic of witch-hunting, The Crucible brilliantly explores the threshold between individual guilt and mass hysteria, personal spite and collective evil. It is a play that is not only relentlessly suspenseful and vastly moving but that compels readers to fathom their hearts and consciences in ways that only the greatest theater ever can."A drama of emotional power and impact" --New York Postst 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." For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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.
The forgotten classic that launched the career of one of America's greatest playwrights It took more than fifty years for The Man Who Had All the Luck to be appreciated for what it truly is: the first stirrings of a genius that would go on to blossom in such masterpieces as Death of a Salesman and The Crucible. Infused with the moral malaise of the Depression era, the parable-like drama centers on David Beeves, a man whose every obstacle to personal and professional success seems to crumble before him with ease. But his good fortune merely serves to reveal the tragedies of those around him in greater relief, offering what David believes to be evidence of a capricious god or, worse, a godless, arbitrary universe. David's journey toward fulfillment becomes a nightmare of existential doubts, a desperate grasp for reason in a cosmos seemingly devoid of any, and a struggle that will take him to the brink of madness. This Penguin Classics edition includes an introduction by Christopher Bigsby. .
An unforgettable collection of a master storyteller?s final works Throughout his life, Arthur Miller, one of the foremost dramatists of the twentieth century, wrote highly regarded fiction?from his early novel Focus to two collections, I Don?t Need You Anymore and Homely Girl. In Presence, a posthumous gathering of his last published stories, he reveals the same profound insight, humanism, and empathy that characterized his great dramatic works. The six stories included here have all appeared in major publications and each displays all the assuredness of an artist in his autumnal prime. Presence is a gift that all fans of Miller?s work, as well as readers of contemporary fiction, will applaud. .
Arthur Miller's penultimate play, Resurrection Blues, is a darkly comic satirical allegory that poses the question: What would happen if Christ were to appear in the world today? In an unidentified Latin American country, General Felix Barriaux has captured an elusive revolutionary leader. The rebel, known by various names, is rumored to have performed miracles throughout the countryside. The General plans to crucify the mysterious man, and the exclusive television rights to the twenty-four-hour reality-TV event have been sold to an American network for $25 million. An allegory that asserts the interconnectedness of our actions and each person's culpability in world events, Resurrection Blues is a comedic and tragic satire of precarious morals in our media-saturated age. .
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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