All My Sons Essay

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Maribel Aliaga
April 1, 2013
THE1000
All My Sons
Word Count: 1, 428

“All My Sons” by Arthur Miller is a moving, touching, yet depressing play. It deals with a lot of themes such as death, guilt, greed, secrets, and irony. There are only a handful of main characters in the play and is based upon actual events. Some aspects that are going to be touched upon are exposition, plot, characters, theme, personal reaction, and poetics.

“All My Sons” takes place in August 1940s at the Keller home. It is obvious from the beginning of the play that the Kellers are pretty well off. Their house is described as being “two stories high. It has seven rooms. It would have cost perhaps fifteen thousand in the early twenties when it was built.” At the start of the play, everything seems like a normal day, except for the fact that Larry's memorial tree has fallen, making the mood a bit ominous. World War 2 has recently ended, and Joe Keller is sitting outside reading the newspaper. His son, Larry, has been missing for about 3 years since he went to fight in the war.

The plot actually begins when Chris tells Joe that he plans to marry Ann, who used to be Larry's girl. However, George, Ann's brother, has come from very far to visit his father in jail and to take Ann back home by herself. George and Ann's father was Joe's partner and was accused of selling cracked cylinder heads to the Air Force, thereby, causing the death of approximately 21 men. While George was visiting the jail, his father reveals a truth to him: Joe was the one responsible for selling the faulty parts and pinned it on him. When George confronts Chris about this, he refuses to believe this. Joe, however, keeps beating around the bush with this accusation. He keeps saying that it was his partner's fault and that Larry “never flew a P-40”. Therefore, he is still alive, because he did not have faulty parts in his aircraft. Kate Keller, however, is in complete denial...
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