Arthur Miller is considered one of the "five most important American writers for the theatre in the twentieth century". After the production of his second full-length, professional play, All My Sons in 1947, Miller was given the title of "'major' playwright". This international reputation has been known to put a heavy burden on an artist at any time. After the 1949 production of Death of a Salesman, Miller was considered as "one of the world's most important living dramatistsÃ¢ÂÂ¦". This made later success even more difficult since it began at such an early stage of his career. Although Miller's plays took place at different times during history, many found them to be "Ã¢ÂÂ¦a mirror of American life" and moved audiences and readers all over the world. The way Miller saw it, "A play, ought to make sense to common-sense peopleÃ¢ÂÂ¦the only challenge worth the effort is the widest one and the tallest one, which is the people themselves".
Throughout his works, Arthur Miller has continually affected American literature through his portrayal of the endless struggle of a man versus society.
William B. Dillingham, a professor of English, argues that "tragedy occurs when a character either fails to recognize his place of forfeits his place for false values". Dillingham also explains that when a person is disconnected or separated from society, it is possible for that person to have difficulty maintaining a sense of integrity and conscience. In four of Miller's works, Dillingham points out the relationship between the central character and the society.
In each of Miller's plays there is a contradiction between the passion of a particular character and their awareness of what is really happening around them. There is also a contradiction between a character's irrational impulse when making a decision and the rational concept of how they should handle their problems. Although Miller's best dialogue reflects psychological conditions of the time period, he is continuously returning to his suitable generalization. Miller can expertly influence the emotional tension in a situation; however, he still searches for aesthetic detachment. Miller makes each main character act proper in a family context; however, when placed in a social environment, Miller feels obligated to make their connection more explicit.
Throughout his works, Arthur Miller has continually affected American literature through his portrayal of the endless struggle of a man versus society. Although Miller's plays took place at different times during history, many found them to be "Ã¢ÂÂ¦a mirror of American life" and moved audiences and readers all over the world. Although based in different time periods, each one of Miller's plays can be related to the current period. From The Crucible, based during the Salem witch-trials, to All My Sons, based during World War II, Miller has been able to create a dramatic way of showing everyday struggles between man and society.