• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Joe Keller Analysis

Extracts from this document...


Does Miller present Joe Keller as a character motivated by self-preservation? In the portrayal of Joe Keller, the protagonist of All My Sons, Miller presents him as a character that is motivated by self preservation to the extent that he would deceive his own kin in an attempt to save his own skin and as a character that does his best to hold up to his ideals. However the issue is more complex that this in that Miller is using Joe Keller's self preservation to show us that especially in the context of World War 2, the personalities of people may be altered thus affecting the moral-compass that points to the direction that people's decisions should lead to. All My Sons was published in the aftermath of World War 2 thus the issues that were prevalent in the in the 1940s heavily influenced the course that the said piece of literature would take. In Post-World War II with the concerns about wartime profiteering and unethical practices were coming to light, the plot of All My Sons revolves around the selling of the defective machinery to the Army and how that act could be reconciled with the nature of a decent man, a loving father and an amiable neighbor. ...read more.


The term describing the intense anti-communist suspicion was coined McCarthyism and the plot of All My Sons was set in this context. Arthur Miller brought in the characters of Frank & Lydia Lubey and Jim & Sue Bayliss. Both couples are neighbours of the Kellers and while Frank is there to inject some comic relief when the conflict between George and Joe Keller seems to be too much for the reader, Dr Jim Bayliss plays a more significant role in describing how the neighbourhood views the conviction of Joe and Steve. Jim knows what Keller did but accepts him, not out of cynical indifference to wrong, as his wife Sue does, but out of humanity. Perhaps in the way Miller depicts Jim Bayliss as tolerating and forgiving what Keller did, he hopes that the general public will give up McCarthyism and while not embrace communism, understand that the Soviet Union is trying to create an ideal system for humanity. The pardoning of Joe Keller by his neighbours would also allow the reader to mirror the character's actions and be sympathetic with what Keller did. The themes that present themselves throughout the novel of All My Sons play a significant part in insinuating how Miller wanted to present the character of Keller. ...read more.


We find out at the end of the play that even though Keller had in essence achieved and was living the American Dream, it was not without sacrifices; Larry's suicide and the death of the 21 pilots. Thus we are presented with the flaw of adhering specifically to the economic interpretation of the American Dream. Above all, I feel that Miller wanted to present Joe Keller as a character who is motivated by self-preservation in order to show readers that especially in the Post-World War II context, people should not be so quick to accuse others of crimes that they themselves committed. He introduces Keller and we find that we are able to relate to him, as there are parts of him that we can find in the average "Joe". Nonetheless when the truth is finally revealed we are quick to distance ourselves from this man that only a few paragraphs ago we deemed worthy of our respect. Perhaps by showing Joe Keller as a person who was not able to view the wider picture of our society, Miller hoped that the reader would realize that the next time we accuse someone else, we would have second thoughts about the matter at hand Done by: Justin Ng ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Things Fall Apart Novel Analysis

    Umuofia has many huts scattered and farms growing vegetables, like yams. The people of Umuofia are very strong and cultural people. They stayed with the customs their ancestors high regarded like the nobility of taking titles that select few could get or the respect of their gods.

  2. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel Chapter Analysis

    This is reinforced by "seeing her hands no longer at her mother's command". Through this, we can see that Tita is exploring new ways to exist. In addition to this, Tita first makes communication though writing in this chapter. This can be related to the sense of freedom that she

  1. Commentary on Aftermath by Sassoon

    The cleverly incorporated onomatopoeia particularly enhances the poem's depth. The mute "t" sound in the rhymes "yet" and "forget", "Mametz" and "parapets" consistently recurs, creating a very powerful effect where the onomatopoeic mute interrupts the breath and creates harsh and strident sound effects.

  2. Character Analysis of 1984 by George Orwell

    system can rebel, and how this rebellion is considered as part of the theme "resistance", whom of course, Winston is part of.

  1. All My Sons Reading Journal

    In defense Joe remarked that "there's nothin' he could do that I wouldn't forgive. Because he's my son. Because I'm his father and he's my son". His theory of mutual forgiving is purely hypothetical, and Chris is quick to remark that his father should realize "once and for all there's

  2. An analysis of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

    The reader is introduced to Montag as a confused and misguided character. This is confirmed later to the reader, when observing his way of rebellion against the society, as he either performs efficiently by being lucid, or otherwise he is inclined to be clumsy, e.g.

  1. Articles of VN War

    Qu� th�y d� that su th�nh c�ng trong viec tu t�n, tu d�ng h�a "C�C TH�Y L� PHAT GI�O". N�i d�n d�y t�i kh�ng khoi kh�ng bat cuoi, nho d�n chuyen cung tuong tu nhu vay. �� l� chuyen tr�n 30 nam nay, dang CSHN cung d� tu d�ng h�a m�nh l� t� qu�c!

  2. Rhetorical analysis of the Communist Manifesto

    In order to achieve his aim, he needed to build up confidence therefore he used powerful language which included epistrophes. He wrote, ?It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere? (I. pg16.). In this quote, Marx describes the force of capitalism and production.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work