45 pages 1 hour read

Arthur Miller

All My Sons

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1947

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Authorial Context: Arthur Miller and the American Dream

The playwright Arthur Miller was born on October 17, 1915, in New York City. His upbringing during the Great Depression greatly influenced his perception of societal issues, serving as a foundation for his future work. Miller’s writing career burgeoned in the 1940s and 1950s. He became known for his insightful depiction of the pressures of capitalist competition and American individualism. All My Sons was one of Miller’s earliest successes. The play premiered in 1947 and marked a significant milestone in his career. Despite winning several awards, his second play, The Man Who Had All The Luck, was received very badly by the public and closed after only four performances. Miller had already been working on All My Sons for several years. The play premiered to great acclaim, running for 328 performances and winning Miller his first Tony Award for Best Author. The play also helped to establish Miller’s reputation, which would be bolstered by other works such as Death of a Salesman and The Crucible.

Throughout his career, Miller delved into the intricacies of the American Dream. His works questioned its integrity when pursued at the expense of ethical values. The American Dream, an ideal of upward mobility and success, intrigued Miller, but he often depicted its darker sides, highlighting the disparity between its promise and the harsh reality faced by many.