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View Of War In All My Sons

833 words - 4 pages

All My Sons, a play by Arthur Miller, tells predominantly the story of the Kellers. This play takes place after World War II, in the year 1947. It is a criticism of the “American Dream,” which can be defined as a life of personal happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by those in the U.S. The pursuit of the American Dream consisted of anything tangible, such as things, numbers and people. There is no mention of anything having to do with emotions or the spirit. Throughout the play, Miller calls the American Dream into question, deeming it shallow. One of its characters, Joe Keller, is seen as the epitome of the American Dream, but according to Miller, is morally ...view middle of the document...

However, Keller’s pursuit of money led to his responsibility for the deaths of 21 American pilots. Keller achieves the American Dream. He lives in a comfortable house despite being uneducated. With this, Miller emphasizes the shallowness of the overall American Dream and that one should consider the consequences of his or her actions. On the other hand, this prosperity which Keller has worked so hard to provide his family with the very best is of slight consequence. He does not have a strong family unit as perceived. His wife Kate is ill, his son Chris is upset and disappointed, and his deceased son Larry committed suicide as a result of his father’s narrow-minded decision. It isn’t until the letter from Larry is revealed that he realizes that “he was [his] son…they were all [his] sons.” (3.83). The pursuit of the American Dream has turned into a nightmare.
Wartime profiteering was a significant theme in All My Sons. War profiteering became the conflict between idealism versus self-interest. Joe’s son, Chris, is described as an idealist. Joe is a war profiteer who argues that his actions during the war were defensible requirements of good business practice. It is in the concern of self-interest. The play emphasizes the capitalist system that encourages them to value their business...

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