Themes In All My Sons

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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 “dog eat dog” society where actions of moral questionability are condoned. These facets of society are expressed through the father-son conflict that lies at the heart of the text, which represents the dichotomy in the morality of two different generations.

The roaring twenty’s gave birth to a new America, a nation which promised wealth, excitement and stability to all who resided within her. Yet, in a span of a decade, the United States’s economy was in tatters, leaving in its wake a generation of pragmatists hardened by the carnage of the great depression. These individuals, colloquially known as the lost generation, treasured the romanticized idea of the “all American success story”, which states that if a man seizes fate by his
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