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All my Sons is a play written by Arthur Miller The action of the play is set in August 1947, in the mid-west of the U.S.A. The events depicted occur between Sunday morning and a little after two o'clock the following morning.

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All my Sons is a play written by Arthur Miller The action of the play is set in August 1947, in the mid-west of the U.S.A. The events depicted occur between Sunday morning and a little after two o'clock the following morning. Chris, a militant idealist, or even Larry, another son not appearing on the stage, becomes apparent with the very background of the war, by itself. It is true that in the play Arthur Miller portrays Joe and Chris as victims of the war. However, if we look at it in its simplest form, as a social play reflecting the American society of the 1940s in relation to World War II, that will lead us to close our eyes to an appropriate evaluation of this play. All my Sons has included such themes as father-son conflict, guilt of fathers, one conflict between the social and the personal, a man's personal integrity, survival and social responsibility, a moral crisis, individual and family pride, pursuit of the dream of success, as well as a family and a social play. The biblical story of Cain and Abel from the Old Testament allows the play to disguise itself as a modern version of a morality play on "brotherhood." The main reason why the theme of the father-son conflict is often taken up in plays is that the father has almost always been the centre of the family and has, therefore, influenced the son's way of living or thinking. ...read more.


He tells his wife, Kate, about Chris, "I should put him out when he was ten like I was put out, and make him earn his keep. Then he'd know how a buck is made in this world." This clearly shows how he started his independent life away from home when he was very young. The following also tells us how he has established his present position through difficulties. "You lay forty years into a business and they knock you out in five minutes, what could I do, let them take forty years, let them take my life away?" In this scene he is explaining to Chris why he would not like to give up his factory, which he has kept forty long years despite the faulty cylinder heads the factory produced and shipped to the armed forces. Since, Joe, left home when he was so young, we could easily assume that he had to make his own living without proper education. When we come to understand how hard he worked to become a successful owner of the factory, we could consider him an independent, rugged, and self-made gentleman. Joe got along rather well, even though influenced by the old values to some extent. He is a realist. To Joe the family is everything. Especially his sons. Joe's following words to Kate concerning Larry show this: "I'm his father and he's my son, and if there's something bigger than that I'll put a bullet in my head!" ...read more.


During his experience in the war Chris found out is solidarity and responsibility between two men. Those are noble ideas, which Chris learned in his war situations. When he tried applying them to actual society, however, problems occurred. To Chris who had this war experience, it is quite natural that he found actual society incredible. It would be possible to say that the solidarity and responsibility which Chris experienced in the battlefield at least urged him to be aware of his own ego, that is, independence from his parents and establishing his own identity. The feeling of solidarity and the sense of responsibility he learned in the war have their true meaning in the army where military cooperation and unity count as a whole. Naturally Chris can never get along with Joe because of his unrealistic ideas. "I was dying every day and you were killing my boys and you did it for me? What the hell do you think I was thinking of, the goddam business? Is that as far as your mind can see, the business? What is that, the world - the business? What the hell do you mean, you did it for me? Don't you have a country? Don't you live in this world? What the hell are you?" Miller's intention in the drama is not merely to describe the conflict between father and son. His real intention is to integrate the conflict between Joe and Chris is based on the basic pattern of the rebellion of a son against his father. ...read more.

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