But the itch is too great, so that he is constantly reaching out for splendor. 158) Richard Gilman, "Getting It Off His Chest, But Is It Art?" (1964), in his Common and Uncommon Masks: Writings on Theatre 1961–1970 (copyright © 1971 by Richard Gilman; reprinted by permission of Random House, Inc.), Random House, 1971, pp. Although the structure of All My Sons is tight, it remains open to a number of serious criticisms….Tags: 1990 Ap Biology EssayComposing An Academic EssayEssay Charles Dickens Great ExpectationsFree Homework WorksheetsQuotes In Research PapersCase Study Research Method
To ask a modern dramatist to write a play that emphasizes either social necessity or individual responsibility would seem to involve an oversimplified approach to experience.
The abstract discussion of freedom versus determinism, usually conducted in a philosophical vacuum, seems ultimately a deadend; in actuality, we recognize the rival claims of both factors, and we manage to live with both. 42-3) The critical question is whether Miller has rendered a complex vision of experience, not whether the critic necessarily agrees with the alleged interpretation of the vision.
And these are the things which After the Fall so radically fails to accomplish, deficient as it is in structure, though, language and movement, and depending so heavily on earnestness, "honesty" and the sort of judgment-freezing self-exposure, which is designed to disarm us and compel our sympathy.
Well, one does sympathize with Miller, if not with his play.
The play is so entirely autobiographical that one wonders why Miller did not take a deep breath and go the whole way, why he did not retain himself as a playwright instead of making himself a lawyer and keep Marilyn Monroe as an actress instead of turning her into a singer.
Had he been that straightforward the work might at least have gained in the gossip-column interest, which is the only sort it possesses.The very form of the play, which Miller has described, to our unbearable embarrassment for him, as revolutionary, is exactly suited to its incorporeality and adamant refusal of dramatic life.On the edge of the bare apron stage …, a figure called Quentin speaks to a "Listener" theoretically seated just beyond the footlights, while the events of the play, which are described in a program note as occurring within the "mind, thought and memory" of Quentin, unfold from time to time in the areas behind him and in the interstices of his monologue.The play implies that Willy might have been happier in a pre-"capitalistic" (or perhaps pre-industrial) society; it more plainly suggests that Willy would have been happier working with his "hands"; and it makes manifest that Biff feels that—for him—the West is the answer.Psychologically, it is a truism to say that a man will be happy doing what he can do best.Miller, Arthur 1915– Miller is one of the most celebrated American dramatists of our time, whose fame derives primarily from the four plays of 1947–55: All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, and A View from the Bridge.In their examination of identity crisis and portrayal of the moral and physical degeneration of very ordinary people, these plays constitute "some of the most devastating comment ever made on the American way of life." Miller has won many important awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1949 for Death of a Salesman. Miller, sad emperor with new clothes, is more to be pitied than condemned, once it is understood that he is his own victim as well as that of the cult of success which flourishes so ferally in the jungles of the popular theatre.Few Americans, it has also been alleged, believe with Willy Loman that success depends on being "well liked." Criticism of thematic unity in Salesman, it is obvious, betrays a curious "either-or" kind of thinking.Usually Miller is pummelled for too overtly trying to "prove the theme," but with Salesman the strategy has been to attack him for being too "realistic." Actually Miller should be praised for having succeeded in the difficult task of integrating the "personal" and the "social" in his play….What appears to disturb some critics is that this "answer" is not "profound" enough.Would Oedipus have brought on his fate if he had not been rash?