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In , the play was revived Off-Broadway at Playhouse 91, where it ran from October 4 to December 2 that year. After the Fall , one of Miller's more personal plays, is a thinly veiled personal critique centered on Miller's recent divorce from Marilyn Monroe : the plot takes place inside the mind of Quentin, a New York City Jewish intellectual who decides to reexamine his life, in order to determine whether or not he should marry his most recent love, Holga.
The play has been roundly criticised by some for being too similar to Miller's actual life because Maggie's suicide is similar to the accidental overdose death of Miller's former wife, Monroe. The feelings of the protagonist, Quentin, are often believed to be Miller's own reflections about his failed marriage. For [Jackie Kennedy] loyalty was the ultimate test of character, and in portraying Marilyn as a self-destructive slut whom he had abandoned for her own good, Miller had dismally failed it.
Although After the Fall remains very unpopular with critics, it is revered in the academic arena as a deep and intellectual play, albeit difficult to follow because it does not follow the conventional sequence of events found in typical works.
The play remains one of Miller's less popular works, attributed in part to the non-linear, often surrealistic nature of the plot and setting; all but the initial and final seconds of the play take place in the protagonist's brain, which is reflected by a set comprising a single chair before a concentration camp guard tower , which is surrounded by a giant, winding ramp made up of crevices, pits, and abutments. The plot unfolds over a period of time, and due to the non-linear nature of the story, characters and occurrences appear as the protagonist remembers them.
Reflecting the nature of the mind, they often disappear and their stories remain unresolved until later in the play, when they spontaneously reappear again. Frank Rich noted: "Quentin is a witness to alarming public and personal catastrophes: the stock market crash, the Holocaust, the McCarthy witchhunts and the self-destruction of a show business idol to whom he is married.
A television production of the play was shown in December on NBC. You can find a full set of discussion cards in the After the Fall Literacy Bundle or as a separate pack. Click on the images for more information on all the After the Fall activities. Disclosure : This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything through them, I will get a small referral fee and you will be supporting me and my blog at no extra cost to you, so thank you!
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After the Fall Graphic Organisers. After the Fall Read-Aloud Questions. What do you already know about Humpty Dumpty? Who is telling the story?
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