Arthur Miller was a prominent American playwright and essayist known for his significant contributions to the world of theater. Born on October 17, 1915, in Harlem, New York City, he rose to fame with plays such as 'Death of a Salesman' (1949), 'The Crucible' (1953), and 'A View from the Bridge' (1955). His works often explored themes of personal responsibility, societal expectations, and moral integrity. Miller was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for 'Death of a Salesman' and is celebrated for his critical engagement with the social issues of his time. He passed away on February 10, 2005.
This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.
This classic play explores the life of a failing salesman who, in his quest for the American Dream, struggles with his relationships and his own sense of reality. The protagonist's life spirals into despair as he grapples with his unfulfilled ambitions, strained family dynamics, and ultimately, his own mortality. The narrative delves deep into the themes of identity, illusion, and the destructive nature of the American Dream.
2. The Crucible
Set during the Salem Witch Trials in the late 17th century, this play explores the hysteria, deceit, and religious extremism that plague a small Puritan village in Massachusetts. The protagonist, a flawed but essentially good man, is caught in a web of accusations when young girls in the town start displaying strange behavior and accusing others of witchcraft. The ensuing trials reveal not only the dangers of mass hysteria and false accusations, but also the destructive power of societal pressures and the human capacity for both cruelty and heroism.
The play is a tragic drama set in the 1950s in an Italian-American neighborhood near the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. It follows the life of Eddie Carbone, a longshoreman who lives with his wife Beatrice and his orphaned niece Catherine whom he has developed inappropriate feelings for. When Beatrice's cousins, illegal immigrants from Italy, arrive and one of them, Rodolpho, begins a romance with Catherine, Eddie's jealousy and obsession lead to betrayal and a tragic confrontation that culminates in violence and a devastating conclusion. The narrative explores themes of honor, family, and the struggle of the immigrant experience.
4. All My Sons
The play explores the complex dynamics of the Keller family in the aftermath of World War II, where the patriarch's morally dubious business decisions have tragic consequences. The family grapples with issues of guilt, responsibility, and the true cost of the American Dream when it's revealed that the father knowingly sold defective airplane parts to the military, leading to the deaths of 21 pilots and the subsequent conviction of his business partner. The drama intensifies as secrets unravel, leading to a climax that forces the characters to confront their complicity in the crime and its impact on their family and community.