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All My Sons Themes

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Relatedness

Arthur Miller specified that the concern of relatedness is the main one in All My Children. The play presents concerns that include a person’s responsibility to society, personal obligation, and the difference in between private and public matters. Keller can live with his actions during the war since he sees himself as answerable just to himself and his family, not to society as a whole. Miller criticizes Keller’s myopic worldview, which permits him to discount his crimes since they were done “for the family.” The primary contention is that Keller is incorrect in his claim that there is nothing higher than the family, considering that there is an universe to which Keller is connected. To cut yourself off from your relationships with society at big is to invite tragedy of a nature both public (relating to the pilots) and personal (relating to the suicides).

The Extended family

The reverse side of Miller’s relatedness argument is his downplaying of the household as the nucleus of society. Somehow people are to feel a more basic taking care of others that is not drained by family obligations. What, then, is the location of the family in the larger social system? Discussions of the family serve mainly to contrast characters’ opinions about an individual’s responsibilities to the family versus society at large. The family is likewise provided as a system that can be corrupted and harmed by the actions and rejections of its people, a small-scale example of the method private actions can corrupt society.

The Past

All My Kids is a play about the past. It is inescapable– however how exactly does it impact the present and form the future? Can criminal offenses ever be ignored or forgotten? The majority of the discussion involves various characters discovering various tricks about the current history of the Keller family. Miller shows how these past tricks have affected those who have actually kept them. The discovery of the secrets is presented as inevitable– they were going to come out eventually, no matter what, and it is through Miller’s adjustment of the catalysts that the facts are all revealed on the very same day. Whilte the revelations are inevitable, so are their fatal repercussions.

Rejection and Self-Deception

How do we deceive ourselves and others? We choose things to focus on in life, but do we also require to deny specific things in order to live well? What toll does rejection handle the psyche, the family, and society? Two primary facts about the Keller family history must be confronted. One is Larry’s death, and the other is Keller’s duty for the delivery of faulty parts. Mom rejects the very first while accepting the second, and Keller accepts the first while rejecting the 2nd. The result is that both characters live in a state of self-deception, willfully disregarding one of the facts so that the family can continue to function in acceptable ways.

Idealism

Chris is explained by other characters as an idealist, although we do not see this quality in action aside from his mad reaction to the wartime profiteering. Yet the others define him by his idealism, setting him apart as a male of scruples. Chris decides that he needs to desert these scruples to the reason for practicality when he is confronted with the possibility of sending his father to jail. Is idealism sustainable in a fallen, complicated world? If suitables must be compromised, exists any supervening ideal or principle to assist us choose which perfects should be compromised in which situations?

Company

Keller argues that his actions throughout the war were defensible ass requirements of great business practice. He likewise frequently specifies himself as an uneducated male, taking pride in his business success without conventional book learning. Yet, his sound service sense actually leads to his downfall. This failure is gotten in touch with Miller’s leftist politics and the play’s general criticisms (shared by some conservatives) of a capitalist system that motivates people to value their service sense over their ethical sense. How could rules that govern service be exempt from the moral norms and laws governing the rest of society?

Blame

Each character in the play has a different experience of blame. Joe Keller tries to blame anybody and everybody for criminal offenses during the war, first by letting his partner go to jail. Later, when he is confronted with the fact, he blames company practice and the U.S. Army and everybody he can think of– except himself. When he lastly does accept blame, after finding out how Larry had taken the blame and embarassment on himself, Keller eliminates himself. Chris, meanwhile, feels guilty for surviving the war and for having cash, however when the crimes are revealed, he places the blame squarely on his dad’s shoulders. He even blames his dad for his own inability to send his father to jail. These are just a couple of examples of the numerous instances of deflected blame in this story, and this very human impulse is used to fantastic effect by Miller to demonstrate the true relationships and power plays in between characters as they try to maintain self-esteem as well as individual and household honor.

The American Dream

Miller mentions the defect with a simply financial interpretation of the American Dream as service success alone. Keller sacrifices other parts of the American Dream for simple financial success. Has he given up part of his fundamental human decency (think about the pilots) and an effective domesticity– does he compromise Steve or Larry? Miller recommends the flaws of a capitalist who has no grounding in cultural or social morals. While Keller accepted the concept that a great business person like himself need to spot over the flawed delivery, Miller critiques a system that would motivate revenue and greed at the expense of human life and joy. The challenge is to recuperate the complete American Dream of healthy communities with thriving households, whether industrialism is the financial system that causes this pleased life. Economic mobility alone can be damaging– think about George’s desertion of his home town for big city success. There is a rift in the Bayliss marriage over Dr. Bayliss’s desire to do unprofitable research, because his other half desires him to make more money rather of do what he takes pleasure in and what will assist others.

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