Effects of Betrayal and Guilt in All My Sons

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Effects of Betrayal and Guilt in All My Sons
Miller portrays the dysfunctional interior of an exteriorly familiar American family of four in All My Sons. Joe, the father of the Keller family, is forced to face reality by the repercussions of his wrong doings. His betrayal to his business partner and to society is the direct cause of the deaths of twenty-one fighter pilots and his son Larry. This, in turn, leaves his only son Chris, the now World War II veteran, on his own as an only child. Joe’s actions, in his own sense, are justified in that during the Great Depression there’s a do or die way of life throughout the country, further showing that not only is he unaware of his morally wrong doing because he is one of many, but because it is a human instinct to do whatever it takes to survive. Arthur Miller’s All My Sons depicts the human tendency of betrayal and guilt which leads to the decay and degeneration of human values in the Keller family.
To begin with, one should not fathom that Joe Keller did not understand what he had done. As told by William Dillingham, “Joe Keller’s trouble,” Miller writes, “is not that he cannot tell right from wrong but that his cast of mind cannot admit that he, personally, has any viable connection with his world, his universe, or his society” (Dillingham 83). Whether Joe did this intentionally or was driven to think in this way is up for debate. In addition, it is well known that Miller grew up during the time of the Great Depression which, by no surprise, is the setting of much of his plays. During this time period it is not difficult to contemplate the lengths people went to provide for their loved ones, or even the extent to which many relied on basic instinct to survive. Joe is often made out to look like an animal by George Deever throughout his appearance in the play which would reflect his (Joe’s) eat or be eaten

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