Joe Keller All My Sons Literary Analysis

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“ All my sons advocates a new definition of family; a moral duty to society. Explore the importance of this issue in relation to historical context.”

In his first successful play “All My Sons”, the great social critic Arthur Miller meticulously weaves the tale of a typical American home into an expose of American culture at large. By uncovering the veil that masks the true state of the Keller household, which is a battlefront of two American generations, one which is tarnished by materialism and self-denial and the other polished by the comradery and suffering of war. He does so in order to reveal the issues present in post-war American culture; where one’s individual desires are revered and that of the collective are discarded, creating the
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Keller is a representation of father’s during the great depression, who were expected to be the breadwinners of the family regardless of their employment status; those who failed to do so were ostracized by society as failures. As a result, to plenty of individuals, the family was placed on a higher pedestal than morality.

the tragedy of Joe Keller represents that of America at large, where one’s need for economic and domestic prosperity exceeds their virtuousness to the collective. At the height of the second world war, countless of business were encouraged by the government to manufacture tanks, machine arms, and altery, which resulted in a large, quick and steady source of income for countless households in the United States.

In his text, Miller wishes to explore the notion that during the war countless rules were being violated at a daily basis, yet the average person like the character’s of Miller’s drama chose to deny this fact in a delusional act of self-righteousness. The first viewers of the drama were as vulnerable to duplicity as Joe Keller; they are components of a moral system which condones actions, regardless of its severity if it can be justified by the need for survival. In a sense, Miller wishes to imply that the stage the audience is viewing is nothing more than an exaggerated rendition of what truly occurs behind closed
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