The Columbia Chronicle

Season Affective Disorder

SAD or just sick of winter?

February 24, 2014

The unpredictable weather has left Chicagoans with many complaints, but winter has also made people susceptible to the winter blues, known in the medical community as seasonal affective disorder.SAD is...

European Union deserves Nobel Peace Prize

By Tyler Davis

October 22, 2012

Nobel Peace Prize nominees are usually kept secret, so there was much speculation about who would be this year’s laureate.The prize could have gone to a wide variety of do-gooders, including Burmese President Thein Sein for moving his country’s militaristic government toward democracy or Bradley Manning for divulging vital information to Wikileaks. The Telegraph, a British paper, speculated that Bill Clinton would be ...

Who’s your radical?

By Alexandra Kukulka

February 13, 2012

by Ernie LoveAdjunct Faculty, First–Year Seminar“Death of a Salesman” (1949),  “An Enemy of the People” (1950) and “The Crucible” (1952) is a radical body of literary work reflecting Arthur Miller’s attempts to enlighten the consciousness of Americans in the post–World War II era: to be advised that the promise of freedom and prosperity in a communist-free America is rife with “multiple truths.”  He was, in fact, challenging America’s self-awareness.Miller’s 1950 adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play, “An Enemy of the People,” illustrates such themes as tyranny of the majority and shows how leaders can manipulate the masses. Miller’s decision to adapt Ibsen’s play is explained in his autobiography, “Timebends.” Specifically, Miller  confronted censorship of what were considered “un-American” plays at the time because of the “Red Scare” promulgated by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Miller expressed the following thoughts during the process of adapting Ibsen’s play in his autobiography:“I aspired to a rather exalted image of the dramatist as a species of truth-revealing leader whose brandished light would blind the monster chaos in his approach. Dramaturgy was the physics of the arts, the one that failed when it lied and succeeded when it cut to the first principles of human life.”For me, “Death of a Salesman” and “The Crucible” are his most prominent works because they popped up more than once in high school and college as core texts. These two works provided insight for reflecting on my experience in family relationships, personal growth and maturity, as well as a perspective on American culture and society.“The Crucible,”  is an allegory of McCarthyism I first encountered as a high school student in 1968. It was particularly influential in raising my awareness of the delicate balance that exists in the power structure of a democracy, as well as the role of a citizen in a democratic republic.Note that in 1956 and 1957, Miller was subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee and was convicted of contempt of Congress for his refusal to identify writers believed to hold Communist sympathies.The impact of “Death of a Salesman” did not register with me until my mid-20s. When it did, Miller’s critique of the American Dream made sense as I reflected on my friends, my family and the stories we could tell about our own successes and failures on life’s journey, particularly as these stories varied with respect to attainment of wealth, lifestyle comforts and a sense of self-worth.Miller was the first American writer to be elected president of PEN International. Miller was also posthumously honored by PEN in 2006 with the establishment of the annual Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture.  From PEN’s charter:“PEN stands for the principle of unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and between all nations, and members pledge themselves to oppose any form of suppression of freedom of expression in the country and community to which they belong, as well as throughout the world wherever this is possible.”It is fitting for Miller, whose activism took on varied forms throughout his life, to receive this honor.

Williams spends disappointing week as Marilyn

By Drew Hunt

October 31, 2011

Infatuation with movie stars is nothing new. When we were young, many of our first crushes came from the silver screen, where regular people are made to look larger than life. We admire their looks, we admire their celebrity status and sometimes, we even fancy the idea that maybe—just maybe—we’d have a real shot with them.Such is the basic premise of “My Week with Marilyn,” a movie based on a pair of memoirs written b...

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