“ATTENTION Must Be Paid.” –Arthur Miller

Of course “Attention Must Be Paid,” NOW more than ever when we have people in our society that would like to truly do away with minimum wage, Medicare, supposed “entitlement” programs which help people…how dare people need help from their government of the people, by the people for the people!Lincoln, Gettyburg Address

 

This post started as merely a recognition of the great American playwright, Arthur Miller, born today in NYC (like yesterday’s Eugene O’Neill) in 1915. Oh how I loved his plays!!!!   Arthur Miller may have gotten a bad rap when he divorced Marilyn Monroe, but, let’s face it, it doesn’t seem like she would be the easiest person to be married to and that’s not a criticism of Monroe, she was very talented and very smart. Like all artists, you are inspired by what you know, what you experience and after Miller came out with “After the Fall,” there were fireworks about how denigrating the play was to Marilyn. Have you seen the film, My Week with Marilyn?  Loved that film!

In 1947, Miller appeared before HUAC and refused to name names. “A story is told that in 1955, after Arthur Miller had finished

A View from the Bridge, his one-act play about a Sicilian waterfront worker who in a jealous rage informs on his illegal immigrant nephew, Miller sent a copy to Elia Kazan, who had directed his prize-winning smash Broadway hits All My Sons (1947) and Death of a Salesman (1949), but had broken with him over the issue of naming names before HUAC. “I have read your play and would be honored to direct it,” Kazan is supposed to have wired back. “You don’t understand,” Miller replied, “I didn’t send it to you because I wanted you to direct it. I sent it to you because I wanted you to know what I think of stool pigeons.”Victor Navasky, Naming Names, Viking Press, 1980, Chapter 7

In what is probably Miller’s most famous play, Death of a Salesman, salesman, Willy Loman’s wife, Linda pleas with her sons in Act I that, “Attention Must Be Paid.” I’ve used that phrase numerous times in my life whenever it was apt. It remains an iconic phrase that must be acted out in real life. Our elderly, our young, our immigrants…our vulnerable citizens, whether legal or illegal…vulnerability is vulnerability…attention must be paid. Elderly must be taken care of; Head Start and Universal Pre-K must be mandated for every young child…the earlier we begin interventions and education, the less we’ll feed the penal system with human bodies.

I remember reading Miller’s plays seeing his plays, and just being moved by the great emotion they evoked. Arthur Miller’s back story is great and if you can, read about him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 thoughts on ““ATTENTION Must Be Paid.” –Arthur Miller

  1. Hello! 🙂
    I read your comment and came here to take a look. After reading the “about” section I hit the Follow button, for this blog will help me on my journey too.
    I don’t have any thoughts on this post in particular, for I don’t know Miller’s works (I’m sorry, I even feel ashamed near you here!). I talked about Miller on my blog due to the movie I saw and, of course, after reading Monroe’s biography. I really need to study more of what makes me happy. :p And you are right about Marilyn, she wasn’t an easy person to be with, but as I said too, I don’t think she had any malice in her… Despite her promiscuity, she just needed some understanding and attention I guess…
    I like to read, but I think I started late in life doing so… 😦 More: I don’t know what to read! I want interesting things, I want to be chained to the pages, not wanting to do anything more. The only thing until today that made me do that was GOT. And another collection I had when I was younger, named “Malory Towers” by Enyd Blyton.
    Anyway, I’ll be following you! Hopefully I’ll find some interesting reading-material! 🙂
    (Sorry for any grammatical error, english isn’t my mother language! Feel free to comment Movie Generation anytime!)

    • Oh thank you so much for your comment…your English is just fine. I am a retired English as a 2nd Language teacher!!!! What is your native language? Just go to the library and have fun looking at the books, that’s what I do!!!! I refuse to buy books anymore. Did you see the film, “My Week with Marilyn?” I enjoyed it. She was just so used by everyone unfortunately…though I believe Joe DiMaggio truly loved her. Stop by again!

  2. My mother language is Portuguese!
    And yes, I also find it difficult to buy books today, they’re very expensive… I never had the habit of going to a library but now that you mention it, I have one near my house! I’ll go check what kind of books they have.
    I still haven’t seen My Week With Marilyn but I’ll be watching it very soon! I’ll tell you my thoughts on it then! Poor Marilyn sure was used. Joe might have loved her but you know… from what I read he shouted at her at times. I mean, it’s also understandable, she had a lot of affairs… Their relationship might have been complicated. As you said before, it was difficult being with her. I think Miller also loved her too, and more important, he was her friend. (This is all from what I read from her autobiography, I’m no expert here though!). Besides, it seams to me everyone around her used her as well, and that’s even sadder.

    • One of the greatest gifts I gave to my students through the years was the motivation to visit their local library and how to obtain a library card. If a book isn’t at your library, have them order it for you and they’ll contact you when it arrives. I do that all the time. Many years ago, in 1974, I visited Portugal and thought it was one of the most beautiful places that I had ever been to. The Portuguese people were so very nice to me. Obrigado!!!!! (“Thank you,” right? )

  3. Yes, obrigado means thanks you! 😀
    I’ve heard it too that the Portuguese people are very warm, but I guess it takes someone from the outside to see it. We have indeed so many beautiful places, I sometimes feel sad for what we’ve become… We were once a great country and now we’re having a huge crisis and the whole situation is getting more and more difficult… Once there was an artist, I can’t recall his name, who said it was a shame that the part of Sintra belonged to Portugal, because Sintra is one of the most beautiful places in the world and it’s located in this little country… Anyway, don’t get me wrong, I like Portugal, we have tons of History, I just feel sad for it…
    Maybe tomorrow I’ll go to my nearby library and see what they got! Obrigada for the advice! 😉

    • When I went in ’74 I saw the people of Lisbon crowding the streets for an important governmental revolution and were celebratory. I watched the procession from a hotel balcony. I also visited sintra and esotoril and I so loved evora; in evora i stayed at a monastery that was a hotel or pensione…it was so beautiful, very clean, gorgeous marble, etc. I always tell people they must visit Portugal.

      • In 1974 was the great Revolution of 25 de Abril (April 25th), which put an end to the dictatorship of Salazar and freed the people from censorship and allowed us to have free speech without going to jail. We no longer had policemen in disguise peeking on what everyone was doing/talking/reading/listening and from that day on we had many many changes in our society. Anyway, I think we are in need of another revolution…
        I have been in Évora once, did you visit the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of the Bones)? It is awesome! However, that’s all I remember, I was very young. Sintra is one of the most beautiful sites I know. Estoril is also very beautiful and it’s the place where rich people live! :p
        I think my country has lots of beautiful places, from the very northern end to the sunny south. We could do so much more with what we have, but instead we rely on other countries and let them explore our own resources (fishing for example).

      • Yes, Estoril is for the rich; I was young, backpacking and stayed in someone’s home. I never got to the Algarve. I don’t remember Chapel of the Bones. Do you still live in Portugal? Make sure you get to the library!!!!!!

      • yes, I’m still here… :/ I don’t know if it’s bad or good… Anyway, I went to the library and I’m going to make a card! They have “normal” books there so I liked it! 🙂 Yay, I found a new place to go! ^^ Thank you!

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