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| Miller, Arthur (1915-1995): All my sons
Miller, Arthur (1915-1995): All my sons
Mr. Keller is the owner of a factory. He has lost Larry, one
of his two sons in the war and his younger son Chris wants to marry
The girl, Ann, can’t forgive her father, who is in
prison for selling cracked cylinder heads and causing 21 planes to crash,
neither can her brother, George. Mr. Keller tries to explain the whole affair
saying that it wasn’t only their father’s fault.
Then George rings up his sister and tells her that he has
talked to their father. Not their father in prison but Mr. Keller is responsible
for the use of the cracked cylinder heads. Joe Keller then admits knowledge of
the bad parts but tells them that he had done everything for the good of the
family and Chris and that he only wanted the best for his family and business.
Chris is shocked, desperate, angry and wants his father to go to prison.
Meanwhile Ann shows a letter to Mrs. Keller who is still convinced that her son
Larry will return. In the letter, however, Larry declares his intentions to kill
himself by making it look like an air – crash because he can’t stand
the thought that his father is responsible (to blame) for the death of so many
young pilots like him.
Mr. Keller, now realising that he is also guilty of his own
son’s death and that the truth cannot be kept secret any longer
doesn’t want to stay there any longer and at the end he commits
Arthur .Miller, one of the most controversial playwrights,
describes in his play ”All my Sons” normal people living during
difficult times. Mr. Keller is the owner of the factory and we can say that they
had enough money to live but he is ambitious. He always wants the best for his
family, he wants to give them a high standard of living, even if it involves
doing something terrible and immoral. He thought the only way to get rich fast
was though the war. Mr. Keller did not take into account that he would lose one
of his own boys and that his friend and partner in business would be blamed for
the cracked cylinder heads and would be sent to prison.
Finally Mr. Keller has to face the truth. He has hurt
everybody in the family and understanding (realising) the consequences of his
ruthless actions and that he cannot hide the truth any longer, he commits
Ambition, success and wealth are not more important than the
lives of human beings.
Play poses ideas of American Dream:
Materialism, success, ambition over social values &
Keller is not a real criminal – he places his family
over social values and welfare of society. He admits his guilt by committing
Chris is more the idealist.