All My Sons Essay, Research Paper
Essay – “All My Sons”
"There?s nothing? he could do that I wouldn?t forgive. Because he?s my son. Because I?m his father and he?s my son." That is a quote about forgiveness, whether or not deciding to choose to forgive is a very personal, and sensitive subject. Imagine what it would be like to have to decide to forgive a close relative for the murder of 21 men. That is the main subject in the three act play, All My Sons, by Arthur Miller.
Joe Keller and Herbert Deever are two ordinary men, trying to succeed in life. They ran a machine shop during the war that produced airplane parts. "The night foreman came and showed him the cylinder heads… they were coming out of the process with defects. So Dad went directly to the phone and called here and told Joe to come down right away. But the morning passed. No sign of Joe. So Dad called again. By this time he had over a hundred defective. The Army was screaming for stuff and Dad didn?t have anything to ship. So Joe told him… on the phone he told him to weld, cover up any cracks in any way he could, and ship them out." That is a passage from the play and is a very important scene, where the truth comes out about what the two men did. In a state of panic, the men let defective parts which went into airplanes be shipped to the Army. They were used, causing the death of 21 men. Keller and Deever were brought to trial, where Keller went free and Deever went to prison.
At the same time during the war, Joe Keller?s son, Larry was pronounced missing. Kate Keller, Joe?s wife and mother of Larry and Chris, went crazy about the report of Larry missing. She is described in her early 50’s, a woman of uncontrolled inspirations and an overwhelmed capacity for love. Like any mother, she is in doubt that her son may be dead. She still awaits the day when he will come walking up the road and everything will be fine again. She keeps his room the way he left it, with his clothes in the closet and his shoes shined. Kate is very disturbed by Larry being missing, even three and a half years later.
Ann Deever is the daughter of Herbert Deever. She is described as a pretty girl who is 26 years old. She is gentle but despite herself capable of holding, fast to what she knows. She was Larry?s sweetheart before he went off to the war. Ann was asked by Chris to return to her hometown to visit. Chris asked her to come so he could ask her hand in marriage.
Chris Keller, is 32 years old and solidly built. He is a man capable of immense affection and loyalty. He has an external struggle with his parents. His mother is totally against him marrying Ann, because it would be showing that Larry isn?t coming back. " I said he?s dead! I know! He crashed off the coast of China on Nov. 25th! His engine didn?t fail him. But he died. I know…" That is a quote from Ann when she finally reveals to Kate that Larry is really dead. She didn?t want to tell her, but she had to in order to be able to marry Chris. Chris also struggled with his dad because he never knew the whole truth about what happened until George, Ann?s brother came to visit.
George is about 26, a palm man, who is on the edge of restraint. George became a lawyer and looked into his father?s case. He thinks he can prove the Joe Keller was more guilty than his father. He came to visit, and that is when he brought up everything about what happened to Chris. That is the climax, when Chris realizes that his father is a murderer, and should be in jail. Chris couldn?t handle the fact that his father is a murderer, and can not forgive him. At the end, Joe dies because of this struggle with his only son left.
"Then what is this if it isn?t telling me? Sure, he was my son. But I think to him they were all my sons. And I guess they were, I guess they were." This is a quote by Joe Keller, where the title is said. This is at the end of the book, when he realizes the extent of what he has done. He is referring to all the men in the war who died were like his sons, and Larry too.
The main theme of the book is supporting each other. Joe only made the defective parts because he loved his family and needed to keep his business so they could have money. When he was set free, he continued to work, leaving a lot of money and a good business to Chris. He always told Kate and Chris he did it for them, and the money was good money. This shows that for love, a person will go to any extent.
Arthur Miller shows his interest in conflict within the family through the play. He wants his plays to make sense to the commonsense people and stir the passions of the audience toward a fresh awareness of others. He typically writes about families and all the things they go through. All My Sons opened on Broadway in 1947. It is the winner of the Drama Critics Award for the best New American Play.
A three act play that concentrates on conflicts within a family. Forgiveness for those who are closet and at fault. A play filled with excitement and emotions. All My Sons, by Arthur Miller is an excellent story, with strong subjects. A piece of literature that is recommend to everyone.