All My Sons by Arthur Miller

554 Words3 Pages
Joe Keller is a man who loves his family above all else, and has sacrificed everything, including his integrity, in his struggle to make the family successful. In the first scene of the play, Miller presents Joe Keller to the audience as a “good guy”. At first he appears a likeable man who has made his own fortune. He is practical, a reasonable father and a considerate husband. He lacks education but is perceptive, additionally a good business man. He is hard working, very committed to his business and easy going. He gets on well with kids in the neighbourhood, such as Bert, who visits Joe and plays “jail” with. As the play progresses, Joe Keller's character is seen a mass of contradictions to the audience. He is thoughtful one moment and conniving the next; he's willing to sacrifice for his family, but he's also willing sacrifice someone else's family for the benefit of his own, and he is unwilling to take responsibility for his own actions. “All my sons” is about living the American Dream. Joe has the house in the suburbs after WWII, has the perfect child, lives in the perfect neighborhood, and shares his life with the perfect neighbours. What Joe perceives as perfection was bought on lies and deceit. His feeling of family loyalty is based on disloyalty to others. To achieve this dream Joe has given up all sense of morality; his deceit is so natural that at times you almost believe him. That's what makes him practical; he'll do anything to insure that the illusion is untouched by the lies, but in the end he can't pull it off. The play introduces questions that involve an individual's obligation to society and personal responsibility. As the play continues, Miller creates a sense of normality using several different techniques, including: the use of setting, stage directions and dramatic tension between characters; which kept the audience captured in the

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