The Practical Message of All My Sons

Authors Avatar
The Practical Message of All My Sons   All My Sons, a play by Arthur Miller, tells predominantly of the story of the Kellers. This play takes place after World War II, in the year 1947. It is a drama of actions and consequences and morality. This theme of actions and consequences is shown after Joe Keller ships out defective engine parts, which ultimately ends in the death of many pilots including that of his own son, Larry Keller, who kills himself in shame of his father' s actions.   Joe Keller had two sons, Chris and Larry, who is dead. Chris and his father, Joe, have opposing morals and viewpoints on many of the issues that govern their lives, primarily the issue of the shipment of the defective engine parts. Chris's criticism of Joe and his morals in juxtaposition to his own produces a revelation of Chris's true character and his character flaws. Chris's main criticisms of Joe, his father, chiefly deals with the shipment of the defective engine parts.   Joe plays a major role in this play. He is shown as the antagonist, the one who through his bad decisions, ends up killing many innocent pilots who were only defending their country.    "In All My Sons, Miller complicates the story in that the father becomes flawed morally to such an extent that the outside forces function as reflections or testimonies of the essential inner weakness." (Martin, 9) As Yorks shows in his essay, through
Join now!
Joe's loyalty to his business and his family, Joe betrays the "larger loyalties of the global conflict" [World War II] (21) by shipping out defective engine parts. Joe tries to defend his actions by saying, "Who worked for nothin' in that war? When they work for nothin', I'll work for nothin''s dollars and cents, nickels and dimes; war and peace, it's nickels and dimes, what's clean? Half the Goddamn country is gotta go if I go!" (Miller, 67) Joe claims to Chris that almost all the businesses involved in the war, made a profit from it and if that is ...

This is a preview of the whole essay