Miller’s Struggle with Religion and Identity

Reading Arthur Miller’s autobiography, one gets the sense of a man who struggled all his life with religion and his place in the world. Many of Miller’s plays deal with the “common man” and his sense living with a disappointing life. But as we prepare to produce Resurrection Blues, Miller’s relationship with religion became the focus of my attention.

Being Jewish, Miller struggled with identifying himself with the faith, but also recognizing that God would even care about his little insignificant life. As a child he visualizes God viewing the world as if God was in a theatre watching a play. Miller imagined that God would only come out for weddings and funeral, and then disappear back into the synagogue. In the 1930s, Miller saw socialism as his faith.

All of these childhood and young adult views affects the writing of Resurrection Blues in an interesting way. It is almost as if Miller is struggling with his Jewish identity and God through the prophet in the play. By representing religion the body of a man we never see, the evidence of Miller’s relationship  to God is there.

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