Often called the most autobiographical of Arthur Miller's plays, After the Fall probes deeply into the psyche of Quentin, a man who ruthlessly revisits his past to explain the catastrophe that is his life. His journey backward takes him through a troubled upbringing, the bitter death of his mother, and a series of failed relationships.
About the Author
Arthur Miller was born in New York City in 1915 and studied at the University of Michigan. His plays include All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953), A View from the Bridge and A Memory of Two Mondays (1955), After the Fall (1963), Incident at Vichy (1964), The Price (1968), The Creation of the World and Other Business (1972) and The American Clock. He has also written two novels, Focus (1945), and The Misfits, which was filmed in 1960, and the text for In Russia (1969), Chinese Encounters (1979), and In the Country (1977), three books of photographs by his wife, Inge Morath. More recent works include a memoir, Timebends (1987), and the plays The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (1991), The Last Yankee (1993), Broken Glass (1993), which won the Olivier Award for Best Play of the London Season, and Mr. Peter's Connections (1998). His latest book is On Politics and the Art of Acting. Miller was granted with the 2001 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He has twice won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and in 1949 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Quentin is a lawyer at a big firm. He has friends, a wife, daughter and a Communist past he is still trying to come to terms with. He constantly flashbacks to his childhood to hear his parents bickering and flashes forward to listen to his current lover discuss her fear of Nazis. In between we see Quentin's first marriage end, the disintegration of his second marriage to a famous singer, and the fear he and his friends feel when the firm demands that someone names the former Communists among them.When I began reading this I was aware that Miller had caught a tremendous amount of heat for this play. I can see why. It is self-serving and egotistical in monumental proportions. He might as well have gone ahead and given the characters their real names: Quentin is Miller whining endlessly about truth, Maggie is Marilyn Monroe as the "quite stupid, silly kid." And the later lover, calm Holga, is Miller's then wife, Ingeborg Morath, the only female in the play that Miller doesn't portray as impossible to please. If Miller had simply written a play that had a little bit in common with his own life it wouldn't have mattered, but that he chose to write so transparently about his marriage, break-up and death of Marilyn so immediately after her death comes off as exploitation.
Once again Arthur Miller takes us deep into our souls, exploring who we are in our relationships, challenging us to see ourselves more deeply and clearly
This is a play that was very innovative in it's time for the complexity of the setting and the plot. I find it interesting, but for its complexity I would only recommend it for theater lovers, and for people studying theater history.