All my Sons - Critical Essay
'All my sons' written by Arthur Miller is a dramatic play which shows actions and consequences and morality and studies the theme of idealism verses realism, social responsibility and the American dream. This play takes place after World War II, in the year 1947. The play shows conflict between a Father and a son and how quickly a family can fall apart following a serious revelation. Arthur Miller uses techniques such as characterization, stage directions and a delayed climax to show the conflict between the different characters throughout the play and to help the audience understand the main themes indicated throughout the play. Arthur Miller makes effective use of the setting to hint at a sense of privacy inside the Keller family. The first sign of privacy is shown when Miller describes a “secluded atmosphere” in the Keller garden. This is shown by the garden being hedged on the right and left by tall, closely planted poplars which gives the sense that something is hidden. This gives the impression that already, there is something secret trying to be hidden from anybody else. Although Miller uses these techniques to show the privacy, he describes the house to have warmth or a family oriented feel about it. “The house is two stories high and has seven rooms.. .. it is nicely painted, looks tight and comfortable.” Miller does this to show the importance of family to the main character, Joe Keller and how he is making the best of what he has. The description of the garden also has the same effect. The setting is relevant to the characters and their personality in the play.
By using characterization and dialogue effectively, Miller can show his themes through the characters. His does this mainly through the two main characters, Joe Keller and his son Chris Keller. Joe Keller is nearly 60 years old, and would be retiring soon from his own business, which becomes an importance later on in the play. Keller isn’t educated and makes a...
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