By David Savran
Publication by way of Savran, David
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Additional info for Communists, Cowboys and Queers: Politics of Masculinity in the Work of Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams
Even in the face of its diminished prestige, Miller did not challenge the committee's right—as the Hollywood Ten had done in 1947—to question his own political beliefs and activities. "7 Chairman Francis E. "8 As he had done and was to do countless times on a different stage and before a different kind of audience, Miller had walked a rhetorical tightrope, his discourse suspended between heroic and principled assertion and artful and guilty equivocation. "11 In the course of his testimony before the House Committee, Miller defended his support for a number of causes and organizations that the committee deemed subversive.
72, 85). For Willy, this realm of freedom is embodied in his brother Ben, who, following in his father's footsteps, set out into the wilderness to become "a genius, . . success incarnate," the "authoritative" individual who "knew the answers," the man who appears in Willy's visions with "an aura of far places about him," always accompanied by "idyllic music" (pp. 41, 44, 45, 133). For Biff, the untrammeled and mythic American West remains the locus of his dreams and desires, the place "to be outdoors, with your shirt off," the land where it's "cool" and where "it's spring .
65 Throughout Miller's work, the female body is constantly in danger of overflowing its limits. It is unstable and unfixed, its boundaries always in dispute, its interior—constitued indifferently of speech, sexual desire, or partially digested food—always threatening to erupt and engulf men in a sea of laughter, chaos, and stink. Confronted with this danger, the male subject must constantly be on guard, must constantly rein in the Arthur Miller 39 female body and demand that it maintain a Linda Loman-like "iron repression," remaining incapable, like Linda, even of crying over her husband's grave (pp.