Analysis of opening of 'All My Sons'

Authors Avatar by abuelgasim (student)


  1. Friendly, neighbourly:
  • Keller shares his tobacco with Jim.
  • Frank “is always wanting it pleasant and neighbourly”
  • Their conversation is light-hearted; discussion of weather (“Gonna rain tonight” and “That beautiful. Not a cloud.”
  • NOTE: here you could divulge into pathetic fallacy; the weather in the Keller’s backyard is bright and sunny now – indicating the health of the familial bonds – but Keller knows that it will rain later. Similarly, note how “The wind must’ve got [Larry’s tree] last night”. Miller develops a theme of exploring tone with the weather. The breaking of Larry’s tree, and a sudden gust of wind, represents the beginnings of a storm (both literally, within the family, and metaphorically).
  1. Distinct characterisation – FOREBODING:
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  • Keller, Capitalism and Ignorance: In this passage, Keller is revealed by Miller to be mostly ignorant of the outside world. He doesn’t “read the news part [of the newspaper] any more” – “It’s more interesting in the want ads.” He also claims “there was no such thing [as a forester] in my day” – although this blatant falsehood appears amusing to the audience, it is the same ignorance of the world that underlies his crime.
  • Miller also introduces Keller’s key idea of “business”; he reads the want ads not because he’s “trying to buy something”, but because he’s ...

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