A Biographical Look into Arthur Miller’s Understanding of Wives and Mothers

Xiaojuan YAO, Jingrui HUI


The article attempts to examine Arthur Miller’s biographical background especially his mother, his wives and the other women around him and investigate his relationship with them in order to gain a better understanding of the wife and mother figures in Miller’s plays. Seen from the more general background, Miller’s particular outlook on wives and mothers is influenced greatly by his biographical background. His mother’s struggle with his father and her desire for knowledge as well as her courage and strength in the economic crisis, together with his own three marriages, especially his tremulous life with the sex symbol Marilyn Monroe and also all the other women around him all contribute to his shaping of authentic and complex wife and mother images in his plays.

Key words: Arthur Miller; Understanding; Mothers; Wives


Arthur Miller; Understanding; Mothers; Wives


Bigsby, Christopher (1992). Modern American Drama, 1945-2000. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bigsby, Christopher (1997). The Cambridge Companion to Arthur Miller. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Carson, Neil (1982). Arthur Miller. London: Macmillan.

Clurman, Harold (1969). Arthur Miller’s Later Plays. In R. W. Corrigan (Ed.), Arthur Miller: A Collection of Critical Essays (pp.143-168). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

Flanagan, James K. (1969). Arthur Miller: A Study in Sources and Theme (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Ann Arbor (UMI No. 1993. 70-7888)

Miller, Arthur (1995). Timebends: A Life. New York: Penguin.

Zolotow, Maurice (1960). Marilyn Monroe. New York: Harcourt Brace HC.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/n


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