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Arthur Miller's novels show the traditional American dream is based on vain empty ideals, which serve only a few Americans. Discuss with reference to the play.

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Introduction

Q. Arthur Miller's novels show the traditional American dream is based on vain empty ideals, which serve only a few Americans. Discuss with reference to the play. "All My Sons" was Arthur Miller's first commercially successful play, opened at the Coronet Theatre in New York on January , 29 1947. It ran for 328 performances and garnered important critical acclaim for the dramatist , winning him the prestigious New York Drama Critics' Circle Award." All My Sons" is in a sense a critical investigation of the quest to achieve material comfort and an improved social status through hard work and determination. The term "American Dream" was first used by James Truslow Adams in his book the Epic of America which was written in 1931. He states: "The American Dream is "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. " The concept of the American dream began to take shape during the early 19th century as hundreds of people immigrated to the United States of America in search for a better life, liberty and the pursuit to happiness. ...read more.

Middle

The second example is Jim's abdication of his pursuit of medical research due to the lack of earnings involved. The third example is that Keller knowingly ships out cracked cylinder heads, that will crash an airplane if used, to prevent his business from going bankrupt, claiming that he did it for his family. Apparently Sue values wealth over allowing an individual to pursue his dreams of conducting medical research" Research pays twenty-five dollars a week minus laundering the hair shirt. You've got to give up your life to go into it." Sue is willing to deny Jim his real desire, in order to make more profit.Miller stresses that society has become so corrupt, that people would rather do something they do not enjoy doing, just for the money involved. Due to greediness, money has made people give up their dreams and goals in search of more financial gain. Jim really wants to research medicine, but he remains a doctor only for the profit involved . Sue's greediness seems to have influenced him, and he gives up research for more money. "I would love to help humanity on a Warner Brothers salary." ...read more.

Conclusion

However, he has directly responsible for not only the death of the twenty one pilots, but his son- Larry who suicides when he heard the news of his father being responsible for the pilots was spread. This is something that he has to face at the end of the novel and leads him to suicide. Miller makes it clear that money, dishonesty, and selfishness take precedence over friendship and human life in our corrupt society. The selfishness that influences one man's relationship to another has destroyed the truth and honesty that used to preside over American society. He suggests that all these factors put together are quickly destroying the basic human values of goodwill and honesty. Some say, that the "American Dream" has become the pursuit of material prosperity - that people work more hours to get bigger cars, fancier homes the fruits of prosperity for their families - but have sacrificed their principles. Others say that the "American Dream" is beyond the grasp of the working poor who must work two jobs to insure their family's survival.. After Miller's close examination of the "Dream", it is up to reader to decide whether the American Dream is reality that changes your life, or an illusion of a failed fantasy. ...read more.

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