In the early twentieth century, America was faced with two tragic events. America was first hit with a huge economic collapse. This collapse became known as the Great Depression. The Depression was followed by World War II. Both of these events profoundly influenced American author Arthur Miller. Arthur Miller is an award-winning contemporary dramatist whose works often show his compassion vulnerable people who are victimized by society.
Arthur Miller was born to Jewish immigrant parents in 1915 in New York. His father, Isadore, owned a successful garment business, and his mother, Augusta, was a school teacher. His father's business struggled during the Depression, and finally failed. Miller was greatly impacted by his father's desperation due to his business failures, he would later write about similar scenarios. After Miller graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School, he worked a number of jobs to earn money for college. In 1934, he enrolled at University of Michigan. Miller graduated after spending four years learning to write and working on plays.
Arthur Miller has been married three times. He wed his first wife, Mary Grace Slattery in 1940. She and Miller had a daughter named Jane, whom he wrote his first children's book for. Miller once said that "you can not catch a child's spirit by running after it; you must stand still and for love it will soon itself return." (thinkquest). Arthur Miller and Mary Grace Slattery were divorced in 1956. Shortly after the divorce Miller married actress Marilyn Monroe. That same year, Miller was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee because of his play, The Crucible's obvious comparisons of the Salem Witch Trials to the recent anti-communist hearings. Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe's marriage has been called a turbulent one, it ended after her last film , The Misfits, written by Miller in 1961. That year Miller's mother died, and the next year, 1962, Marilyn Monroe died.