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All my sons - Sooner or later the chickens come home to roost

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ALL MY SONS ESSAY, "SOONER OR LATER THE CHICKENS COME HOME TO ROOST" By Adil Naeem I first shall begin this essay by giving a translation to the following statement "Sooner or later the chickens come home to roost". The Encarta dictionary says for this statement "to result in undesirable or negative effects, usually after a fairly long period of time". If you relate this to chickens, chickens always return to the same place to roost. Throughout All my sons there are many actions which have been talked about and the consequences of the actions come back to the people who commit them. This theme of deceit and consequences is dramatised by Miller by relating it to the main characters, Joe, Kate and Chris Keller. I will now write the consequences of actions which relate to these main characters. The play is set three years after Keller, the father of the Keller family, taped the cylinder heads of aeroplanes which killed many soldiers. The guilt within him always seemed minimal, but as the play progresses the guilt builds up and surfaces even more until the truth comes out. Keller has been living with this guilt for some time and it is son, Chris who demands the truth out of Keller. Keller cannot take deceiving his own son and faces the consequences of his actions which he thought he forgot about. Keller deceives the audience and the other main characters in the play very well, he covers up the lie about the cylinder heads and blames other people for it. ...read more.


More rational thinking is seen by mother when she says to Chris 'Don't dear. Don't take it on yourself. Forget now. Live.' She is telling Chris not to deceive himself like she did, so it is now revealed that in actual fact she did deceive herself. Chris is a character in which the audience can really relate to, the audience only knows what Chris knows, both of them don't know the real truth. Miller uses Chris to convey the real message out of this story. Chris a character who believes his father and is a very innocent in the beginning of the play. The truth of the cylinder heads effects Chris so much because the people who Keller killed were like brothers to him. Chris refers to the soldiers in war as his brothers because the war experience to him was very moving for him, Chris was amazed to see the courage and love which each soldier gave to each other, and how he was shocked to see that the same courage and love wasn't seen back at home after the war. On page 66, he calls the soldiers as 'his boys' which is a reflection of how much he cared for them. Miller uses Chris to show how businesses made profit out of the war, how they wrongly used innocent soldiers to profit from. . Such as on page 61 when George says how Steve would like to get every man who made money out of the war, Chris replies 'He'll need a lot of bullets' so agreeing with him. ...read more.


An example of this would be the telephone call, the audience know that the telephone call seems to be important as they can see the reaction of the character while the person on the other side of the line speak to him, though the contents of the conversation are only revealed later on which creates questions and suspicions within the audience to wander what it could be about. Another way in which tension is created is the use of the letter. We can see that the letter has a big effect on Mother by her reactions to reading it, "Oh, Oh my God". Thought the contents of the letter are not revealed until later on. The letter is kept hidden from Keller until the end of the play as it is him who will receive the most damage from reading it, which makes the audience say to himself 'what is he reading'? In conclusion to this essay I can say that Miller effectively dramatises the them of 'sooner or later the chickens will come home to roost' He makes past actions which the characters committed come back to resurface in the play as consequences. Miller shows that nothing can be hidden and that what you thought you did hide will come back even worse. The secrets and lies in the play can only be fully understood by watching the whole play, as more and more information is revealed by Miller as the play progresses. Miller plays with the audiences mind and diverts the from the truth using several techniques, which he does very effectively. Miller keeps the biggest secret till the end which when revealed gives the greatest impact, the suicide of Keller. ...read more.

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