Arthur in 1956, the height of the
Arthur Miller was called to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee to name names of communist sympathizers in 1956, the height of the McCarthy Era. Miller refused to do so and was heralded by the arts community for his strength of conviction and loyalty. In 1957, Miller was charged with contempt, a ruling later reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Miller, like Eddie Carbone, was faced with the problem of choosing to be American or not, specifically by naming names of people who were doing (what were considered then) unlawful acts. Miller’s own struggle with this issue is very present in A View from the Bridge. Unlike Eddie Carbone, Miller chose to be loyal to his fellow artists, but like Carbone, Miller went against the cultural consensus at the time. Miller, in the play, has reversed the scene—rather than the mass culture supporting the extrication of possible communists, Miller chose to script a community that accepted and protected unlawful people. The consequences and eventual repercussions of naming names, for Eddie Carbone, are drastic. Miller used this play to strongly condemn the McCarthy trials and those who named the names of innocent artists.