FOCUS by Arthur Miller


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A mechanical device used to make a grim novel of those who walk in fear of senseless bigotry -- not wholly successful, but interesting and with a certain challenge. A smug, opinionated little man, Newman, unable to use contact lenses for his weakening eyesight, discovers that glasses change his appearance and make him look completely Jewish, despite his Gentile inheritance. He loses his prim security; he attempts to ally himself with his neighbor. Fred, prime mover in local Brooklyn Jew baiting, he loses his job because of his changed appearance. His wife, Gertrude, had seen anti-Semitism rampant on the West Coast, and urges him to flaunt his evidence of non-Jewishness. His indoctrination as one of the persecuted continues with overturned garbage pails, ostracism, eviction from a meeting of the Christian Front. And finally, Newman joins forces with the hounded Finkelstein in a real fight against the tormenting, ruthless gang, and takes as his own the cause of all who have suffered as he has. A story of oppression and the response of a peace-loving individual forced into the position of underdog. A telling first novel by the author of Situation Normal and numerous dramas.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1945
ISBN: 0142000426
Publisher: Reynal & Hitchcock