Study Guide

Arthur Miller Childhood

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Arthur Asher Miller was born on October 17th, 1915 in Manhattan. He was the second son of Isidore and Augusta Miller, both Jewish immigrants from Poland. 

Isidore did his best to achieve the American Dream for his family. His clothing company, S. Miller & Sons, was prosperous enough that the family could afford a comfortable apartment overlooking Central Park and a chauffeured car that carried Isidore to work each morning. 

Sadly, these shining, chauffeured times wouldn't last. In October 1929, just a few weeks after Arthur's fourteenth birthday, the stock market crashed. Having invested nearly all his money in the market, the Miller family found themselves wiped out. They packed up and moved to a simple home in Brooklyn, a more affordable borough.

Yup. Brooklyn and "more affordable" in the same sentence. Oh, the good ol' days. 

He graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1932, and began working in an auto-parts warehouse, socking away $13 of the $15 he was paid every week for his future college tuition. He also took night classes at New York City College, though he dropped out when the demands of work and school together proved too much. Undeterred, Miller applied to the University of Michigan. 

He was rejected.


Slightly deterred, Miller applied to Ann Arbor, where he finally enrolled in 1934. 

In college, he realized his calling as a writer. In his autobiography Timebends, Miller wrote, "with the possible exception of a doctor saving a life, writing a worthy play was the most important thing a human being could do."

We're with you, Arthur. We never read our critic's reviews.

And by "critics," we mean YouTube trolls. And by "never," we mean frequently, and yes, we usually end up crying.


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